Radicchio is part of the same family as chicory, but radicchio is the ace! Radicchio is popular, but sometimes you do not even know you are eating it, or if you have eaten it before. Why is radicchio so popular?

Radicchio does not sound that familiar, though it is being eaten a lot. You can find it mixed in salads and it stands out because of its nice red color. Radicchio is used in a lot of dishes to be an eye catcher. Because of this, radicchio gets popular unnoticeably and a lot of supermarkets sell them.

There are two types of radicchio:

  • The round radicchio: This type of radicchio creates a small, decorative red head with white nerves. This type of radicchio gets eaten as a salad and it has a bit of a weird, bitter taste.

 radicchio rosso

  • The elongated radicchio ‘di Treviso’: This type of radicchio has elongated leaves with the same color as the round radicchio. It is mostly used in warm dishes.

radicchio treviso

Radicchio: from young to old

Radicchio is planted before the end of July and it stays on the field until late Autumn. The earliest stage of the radicchio can be harvested after September 1st, but the late varieties cannot be harvested prior to the frost. After the radicchio has been harvested, it gets cleaned and the outer leaves get removed. After this, the vegetable is carefully stored to prevent any damage.

Next, the plants get placed in dark tanks and the roots are submerged in spring water which has a constant temperature. The leaves cannot touch the water. If this happens, the plant will get out of its hibernation and it will continue to grow. The dark tanks prevent the creation of chlorophyll, the natural pigment of the radicchio, which makes the stems white. At last, the outer leaves and roots get removed and it is ready to be sold, and eaten!

Radicchio is unique because of it’s high quality due to the careful and the labour-intensive harvesting, and the selection of the most unified plants to multiply the amount of seeds every year. The consumption of radicchio seems to increase in the future, because the salads are getting more popular and they are eaten more often. A lot of countries are working on producing radicchio locally, which will make it even more popular.

The color and taste 

The radicchio has its nice red color because of anthocyanin (E163), which makes the leaves red in Autumn. Because of natural spring water, the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) also provides a red color and a slightly bitter taste. You taste the bitter taste the best, when the radicchio is raw.

Ways to use radicchio:

  • A salad with different kinds of lettuce like lollo, biondo and oak leaf lettuce.
  • Really thin strips as a bed for fish/chicken/shrimps
  • Sliced into quarters, grilled and sprinkeld with garlic oil
  • As strips in a Italian soup with big white beans
  • Stewed in strips combined with (wholegrain) pasta, blocks of ham and fresh goat cheese
  • Steamed 


Health benefits from radicchio

  • Immune system
    The high level of vitamin C boosts your immune system. 
  • Detoxification of the body
    This leafy vegetable can help your liver work better.
  • Losing weight
    This vegetable is an easy way to saturate your appetite without disturbing your calorie/ weight goals.
  • Blood pressure
    With reasonable amounts of calcium and other antioxidants, this vegetable can help lowering your blood pressure and cardiovascular exertion.
  • Health of your bones
    Vitamin K is essential in all of the bone mineral density, blood coagulation and healing processes.
  • Cancer
    With polyphenolic compounds, lutein and zeaxanthin, oxidative stress is able to be distributed throughout the body, thus lowering the risk of cellular mutation and the development of cancer.
  • Alzheimer disease
    Antioxidants can reduce the amount of inflammation in the neurologic system, and delay the depositioning of beta-amyloid plaques.


0,04 gram


16 kcal          


0,2 gram

Saturated fat

0 gram


3,1 gram


0,4 gram             


0,6 gram

Egg white 

1 gram


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