Radicchio facts

Radicchio also known as Italian Chicory was a traditional element of
Italian diet for the years. Radicchio has dark red color head and bitter flavor. It is added to salad with a various green lettuces. This herb is an annual and cool season plant of family Asteraceae/Compositae that includes lettuce, escarole, endive, chicory, sunflower, burdock, globe artichoke, salsify, Jerusalem and artichoke. Radicchio has tight heads, whitened interiors with unique and bitter flavor.

Name Radicchio
Scientific Name Cichorium intybus
Native Mediterranean region which can also be found in North America and Asia.
Common/English Name Italian chicory, Rosette chicory, Heading chicory, Leaf chicory, Spring chicory, Italian dandelion, Red endive, Red chicory
Name in Other Languages German: Radicchio,
Dutch: radicchio rosso,
Swedish: radicchiosallad,
French: chicorée italienne,
Italian: radicchio,
Spanish: radicchio,
Catalan: radicchio,
Portuguese: radicchio,
Russian: radiččio,
Croatian: radić,
Hungarian: radikkió
Plant Growth Habit Perennial or annual
Growing Climate Cool
Soil Well drained, loose
Root Shallow
Leaf Thin, white veins
Flower Blue
Fruit shape & size Upright, elongated heads, conical; Across: 3- 5 inches
Fruit color Bronzy green- magenta or wine red, white veins
Flavor/aroma Tangy
Taste Bitter, spicy (Leaves)
Varieties/Types
  • Chioggia
  • Treviso
  • Sugarloaf
  • Verona Red or Rossa di Verona
  • Early Trevis
  • Castelfranco
Major Nutritions (Raw) Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 102.1 µg (85.08%)
Copper, Cu 0.136 mg (15.11%)
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.9 mg (6.00%)
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 24 µg (6.00%)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 3.2 mg (3.56%)
Iron, Fe 0.23 mg (2.88%)
Potassium, K 121 mg (2.57%)
Manganese, Mn 0.055 mg (2.39%)
Phosphorus, P 16 mg (2.29%)
Zinc, Zn 0.25 mg (2.27%)
Health Benefits
  • Heart ailments
  • Healthy bones
  • Relieves pain
  • Treats cancer
  • Brain health
  • Metabolism
  • Reduce arthritis
  • Thyroid function
  • Treats anemia
  • Prevents neurodegenerative disease
Calories in  1 cup shredded (40 g) 9 Kcal.
Traditional uses
  • It helps to tone liver and purifies the blood as it possesses antioxidant properties.
  • Radicchio can provide relief to the insomnia patients.
  • The juice extracted from Radicchio is used in cosmetics to ease irritated skin.
How to Eat
  • In Italian cuisine, it is grilled in olive oil and mixed into dishes known a risotto.
  • The roots can be mixd with coffee.
  • It is served along with pasta as a poultry stuffing or as a part of tapenade.
  • Radicchio is used as a garnishes or salads.
  • It is consumed raw, roasted or grilled.
  • In Italy, Radicchio is added to tomato sauces and risottos or grilled also dressed in an olive oil.
  • Radicchio could be grilled with olive oil, salt, flour and fried which could accompany meats.
  • Radicchio can be baked or sautéed.
  • The cooked radicchio could be added to soups, pasta, rice, legumes, tofu and omelets.
  • Radicchio could be used to hold tuna, chicken or seafood.
  • Radicchio could be tossed with olive oil and top with cheese which is broiled till the leaves turn to reddish brown.
  • Radicchio is irresistible part of Italian cuisines.
Other Facts
  • During the Roman Empire, the purifying properties of Radicchio were well-known.
  • Ancient Romans used Radicchio to treat insomnia.
  • The substance called Lactucopicrin which is extracted from Radicchio possesses anti-malarial, pain-killing and sedative properties.
  • Veneto region of Northern Italy is well-known for cultivating Radicchio.
  • In Southern Europe, Radicchio is popular and commonly consumed.
  • The pollination is done by insects.