The Alcove Cafe & Bakery in Los Angeles creates a bowl from radicchio leaves, and fills it with salad. It’s not just pretty: It’s fun food!
The Cafe serves it with their ginger shrimp, seared ginger-marinated shrimp with mixed greens, sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes and plum dressing, topped with enoki mushrooms.
The dish is called “Ginger Shrimp Salad”—a bit of creative license, but if that makes people eat more salad greens, we’re all for it.
So your food fun for the week is:
Buy a large head of radicchio, remove the core, turn the leaves into a bowl and fill it with a colorful green salad.
Eat the bowl (photo © Alcove Cafe | Los Angeles.
WHAT IS RADICCHIO?
Radicchio (rah-DEE-key-yo) is an Italian leaf chicory. There are different varieties, each named after the region in Italy where it is grown. The most common variety in the U.S. is radicchio di Chiogga, a round (pronounced key-YO-guh), tightly packed head of dark maroon leaves with thick white veins.
Radicchio has a bitter taste that mellows when it is grilled or cooked. Available year-round, radicchio is quite nutritious: high in magnesium, potassium and vitamin A, with a mere 9.2 calories in a one-cup serving.
When buying radicchio, pay attention to size. A fresh radicchio head should be about the size of a grapefruit. It you find one with a small, drier head, it likely means that it is older and the outer leaves have been pulled off to keep it looking good.
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