Try It Tuesday: Radicchio

jvi_0007s_0009_radicchioRadicchio (pronounced ra-dee-kyoh) is a leaf chicory that is in season from January to April. Apparently, Italians really like this bitter vegetable as an addition to salads, pizza, pastas, and more for flavoring. It's somewhat cabbage like.

Health facts:

  1. Very low calorie-- 100g = 23 cal
  2. Contains lactucopicrin (intybin), an anti-malarial agent that has sedative and analgesic (painkiller) effects
  3. It is an excellent source of phenolic flavonoid antioxidants which helps protect eyes from age-related macular disease (ARMD) by filtering harmful ultra-violet rays.
  4. Antioxidants help support the body's metabolism.
  5. It is full of minerals like Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, and Magnesium.
  6. Fresh leaves contain moderate amounts of essential B-complex groups of vitamins such as folic acid, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (B3).
  7. Contains Vitamin K, a necessary vitamin that helps blood clot. Also helps maintain strong bones.
  8. More here!

I read that the bitter/spicy taste mellows a bit when you cook it, so I figured I'd try that first, as opposed to raw.

Balsamic Tofu with Radicchio

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg extra firm tofu
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 head radicchio, chopped into pieces
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  2. Drain tofu and cut into cubes
  3. Spread tofu cubes onto baking pan, place in oven for around 20 min (this gets a lot of the water out and makes tofu less squishy)
  4. Chop up radicchio and remove bottom stem
  5. Heat pan on medium heat, add butter then tofu
  6. Add salt, pepper, garlic, and sugar
  7. Sautee for about 7 min
  8. Add the radicchio, tossing until wilted
  9. Add vinegar and cook until the vinegar evaporates slightly, about 1 min
  10. Add the broth and cook until radicchio is tender, about 2 min
  11. Sprinkle on basil and stir

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More recipes here.

Try it Tuesday: my attempt to be more aware of produce items at the grocery store. As a vegan, I feel like I should know what these things are and how to cook them.