A lovely heirloom radicchio, Rossa di Verona has deep red, heart shaped leaves wrapped tightly around one another to form a solid, round head. Later and hardier than Treviso, it has a sharp flavour that mellows when grilled or treated with a hot oil dressing. Sow Rossa di Verona chicory seeds in May/June and transplant in July for fall harvest. Cut off all the leaves above the crown in early fall. It’s the resulting new growth in cold weather that produces the characteristic small, compact, cabbage-like head. They can even be overwintered for spring harvest.
Mark Recommends: Even if you have to go to a farmers market and buy a radicchio, you must try them grilled. Pull off the outermost wrapper leaves, and then cut the head into quarters down the core. Drizzle each of these with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh black pepper. Pop them on the barbecue, right over a medium flame. In only a couple of minutes they will soften and begin to scorch. Allow this to happen on all sides, and then serve them hot with some balsamic vinegar. The cooking brings out an incredibly sweet flavour and knocks back all that bitterness of the raw product. Summertime doesn’t work without grilled radicchio!
Matures in 85 days. (Open-pollinated seeds)