Last Sunday week the Radicchio (an Italian bitter lettuce named radicchio di Treviso) was harvested. Although the other lettuces in the Community garden are popular, this particular type proved too bitter for most palates. For the Sunday gardeners, I prepared a radicchio dish which can be used as a topping for bruschetta or as filling for a vegetarian lasagne or pizza. A lovely addition to the radicchio topping on a bruschetta is ricotta cheese and for the pizza melted Fontana cheese is great.
- 1 small purple onion finely sliced and soaked in water for 5 minute
- 1 radicchio washed and drained and sliced lengthwise quarters and then sliced across into ribbons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 squashed garlic clover
- A good couple of pinches of salt
- A teaspoon of sugar
- Six grindings of black pepper
- Drain onion.
- Gently heat garlic in 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan until golden, remove garlic and discard.
- Add onion and cook over moderate heat until limp but not coloured, about three minutes.
- Add radicchio and stir to wilt, then add the Balsamic, sugar, salt and continue to cook over moderate heat for 10 – 15 mins, stirring from time to time.
- Radicchio needs to be soft and all of the bitterness cooked out. Remove from heat and taste. Add oil and maybe a little more balsamic vinegar.
- Pile onto toasted bruschetta and top with ricotta. Enjoy.
1. Fry strips of red peppers until well cooked before adding onions and proceeding with the recipe. Pile onto a plate, top with goats cheese and walnuts and surround with slices of avocado which have been dressed with walnut oil vinaigrette dressing.
2. Crisp fry thinly sliced prosciutto or pancetta and set aside, and then slice pre cooked potatoes and fry in hot olive oil. Arrange a circle of potatoes on a plate, scatter chopped marjoram, salt and pepper. Heap radicchio in middle of plate and top with prosciutto strips.
3. Soak pre-cooked lasagne sheets (Delverde make a good one, Ondine No 106, available from Norton Street, Leichardt). Make a béchamel sauce with 1 litre of milk and plenty of freshly ground nutmeg. Layer a lasagne sheet with béchamel and slices of Fontana cheese, then another lasagne sheet and top with radicchio mixture, continue with sheets ending with béchamel and Fontana cheese. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes in a moderate oven. This freezes well.
Milson Community Garden