How radicchulous! How little we know about radicchio, that is. Simply radicchulous. I’ve always favored bitter to sweet, hence my penchant for espresso and dark chocolate. So naturally, I gravitate to radicchio which is a red-leafed, bitter tasting member of the chicory family.
Radicchio was first written about by Pliny the Elder — author, lawyer, philosopher, and military commander who died on his boat while trying to save friends from the fumes of Vesuvius. Since those days a couple of thousand years ago, radicchio has become widely popular in Italy, where it has been cultivated since the 15th Century. The most famous (long and thin) variety hails from Treviso, in Veneto. A rounder version, di Chioggia, is more common in the US, but has a similar taste.
According to Pliny, radicchio is a blood purifier, analgesic, and sleep aid. It is also said to also reduce the occurrence of intestinal worms. Plus, it is rich in vitamins A and K. Hence, in addition to be being uniquely flavored, it’s good for you too.
Crespelle al radicchio is a popular primo in Treviso, and today’s recipe comes courtesy of native Maunela Del Prete, who works with our friends at ContestaRockHair in NYC. In Treviso radicchio is also often seen in lasagna or paired with other types of pasta. Its bitterness mellows when cooked, rendering it radicchulously delicious.
Check out our wine pairings to complement this dish.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Slowly add in the cold milk and mix until smooth. Beat the eggs in another bowl and then mix them into the flour mixture, along with 1 ounce of melted butter.
Cover the bowl and let cool in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Use a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, melt a little butter and pour in about 1/4 cup of the crepe batter. Lift the pan to spread around. Cook until lightly golden and flip so that both sides are cooked. Repeat until all the crepes are made. Set aside.
Wash the radicchio and chop it coarsely.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and garlic. When golden, add the radicchio, salt, and pepper, plus 1/2 cup water. Cover the pan and cook for ten minutes.
Remove from heat and cool.
When the radicchio is cooled, mix in the mascarpone, ricotta and Parmigiano.
Heat an oven to 350 degrees.
Lie the crepes, one at a time, on a flat surface. Add a large spoonful of the radicchio mixture and fold them in four. Repeat and place into an oven proof pan. Sprinkle with Parmigiano and some melted butter.
Bake for 10-15 minutes and lightly browned.
Please note that 30 minutes are included in total time for chilling batter.