Pink Radicchio Risotto served with Gorgonzola cheese

 

From end of January until end of December, I was lucky enough to have spent a whole month, in the town which I soon discover, that was going to be one in my favourites towns in the whole world, Munich.
I still remember the anxiety before going there, a new place that never visited before, an anxiety mix with feelings, the feeling of fear for the new, the feeling of anticipation for the new discoveries, the feeling of not knowing what to eat and where, the feeling of what was going to follow and how it would turn out to be living in a new place for a whole month.

And so, I went and the month passed, and I came across a very beautiful city, filled with architecture, culture, history, food and culinary experiences. I also came across Munich’s most famous daily food market and a square, Viktualiemarkt, just behind the amazing square of Marienplatz, where I came across, for the first time in my life, with those special shape, long and thick dark red vegetables, called Radicchios or Treviso (that’s how their variety is called) and sold for €2.40 per 100g!

The varieties of ‘radicchio’ are named after the Italian regions where they originate: the most widely available variety in the United States is ‘radicchio’ di Chioggia, which is maroon, round, and about the size of a grapefruit, while ‘Radicchio rosso di Treviso‘ resembles a large red Belgian endive.

Radicchios are believed to have been discovered in Italy some 2,000 years ago (!!!) and are cultivated form of leaf chicory, sometimes known as Italian chicory. It is grown as a leaf vegetable which usually has white-veined red leaves. It has a bitter and spicy taste, which mellows when it is grilled or roasted. In Italian cuisine, it is usually eaten grilled in olive oil, or mixed into dishes such as risotto. It can also be served with pasta, or be used in strudel, as a poultry stuffing, or as an ingredient for a tapenade. As with all chicories, its roots, after roasting and grinding, can be used as a coffee substitute or coffee additive.

“The varieties of ‘radicchio’ are named after the Italian regions where they originate: the most widely available variety in the United States is ‘radicchio’ di Chioggia, which is maroon, round, and about the size of a grapefruit, while ‘Radicchio rosso di Treviso‘ resembles a large red Belgian endive.”

“Radicchios are believed to have been discovered in Italy some 2,000 years ago (!!!) and are cultivated form of leaf chicory, sometimes known as Italian chicory. It is grown as a leaf vegetable which usually has white-veined red leaves. It has a bitter and spicy taste, which mellows when it is grilled or roasted. In Italian cuisine, it is usually eaten grilled in olive oil, or mixed into dishes such as risotto.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup, risotto rice (I used Tesco and I loved it!)
  • 2 ½ cups, chicken & vegetable stock
  • 3-4 shallots finely chopped (or 1 small red onion if you can’t find shallots)
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 1 cup, chardonnay white wine
  • 1 round radicchio, finely chopped (don’t include the round fat bottom stern)
  • 50 ml of pure virgin olive oil  
  • 1 piece of gorgonzola cheese to garnish (optional)
  • a pinch of black pepper (optional)

Directions:

  • Place a medium size, iron cast casserole, on high heat and add the olive oil. When hot, add the onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes to sauté. Don’t burn, stir regularly.
  • Lower heat to medium and add the finely chopped radicchio and cook until soften and reduced to 1/3 of the original size.
  • Add the risotto rice, stir well to mix and add the hot water chicken and vegetable stock.
  • Allow to cook until very hot and you get to see lots of bubbles. (About 8-10 minutes)
  • Add the wine and further cook until all liquids are absorbed and you get an even and creamy mixture.
  • Serve immediately and if you like, toss with a large piece of gorgonzola cheese. If you don’t like gorgonzola you can go for mascarpone or plain parmesan chunky but thin flakes.
  • Serve with cold chardonnay wine.

Most of the photographs are shot with Leica M10