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Radicchio, a good choice for the winter garden, enhances both raw and cooked dishes – ROSS HAILEY — TNS
Homegrown: Grow radicchio for color and flavor
BY CAROL STEIN AND DEBBIE MOOSE
If you want color and flavor in your winter garden, forget about ornamental (which means inedible) kale and its ilk. Go for the radicchio.
It’s hard to beat. Radicchio has a deep pomegranate-red tone with attractive white veining. It’s much more tender and versatile in the kitchen than the red cabbage it resembles. Radicchio’s slightly bitter flavor enhances both raw and cooked dishes, and is a favorite in Italian cooking.
The Chiaggia variety resembles a smaller version of red cabbage. Treviso types grow more upright than round and come in additional colors, such as green, magenta and white. The Indigo variety is maroon and green, and is bolt resistant, so it can even be sown in late spring for a summer crop.
Sow Chiaggia or Treviso radicchio seeds indoors now to produce seedlings to transplant outdoors. Use three seeds in a 3-inch starter pot filled with loose, soilless mix. Mist the tops lightly with water and place the pots away from direct light until seedlings appear. Then move the pots to a sunny window and keep them moist but not soggy.