Join the radicchio revolution and together we can make the world a bitter place.
It's radicchio box time!!
We will not be doing a radicchio CSA after all this year but we will be doing bi-weekly box of mixed seasonal radicchio starting on November 3rd in part with Chicory Week! Each box will contain a mix of what we feel looks the best in the field and will contain recipes and variety information. They are priced on a sliding scale cause we want to make this accessible to everyone. Boxes will be for sale bi-weekly hopefully through December but maybe even into January - only time will tell.
Brian and I fell in love with chicories over 10 years ago on the very first farm that we worked on. I must say, we didn't really fully understand their importance back then, but now we are full-fledged chicory ambassadors. Why? They are delicious, healthy, and very versatile. They can be grown in the field and survive PNW Winters without any sort of plastic inputs. They are gorgeous edible flowers in the dead of Winter, that bring joy to cold harvest days. When most other vegetables are gone except brassicas and storage crops, chicories come in and save the day!
There are SO many different varieties of chicories and when we first started growing them, I admit that I couldn't keep them all straight. The broad diversity in the Chicory family makes it a very interesting and confusing family tree. Endives are one main branch with Escarole and Frisee as the main sub-varieties which are generally mild in flavor with green, open heads and a blanched heart. Radicchio is the other main branch, which is Italian for “chicory.” Here is a quick rundown of the main radicchio varieties:
Rosso di Chioggia: red, round tight head
Rosso di Treviso: red, elongated with a fat white rib
Rosso di Verona: red, tight head with a fat white rib
Variegato di Castelfranco: green with pink/red speckles, serrated edges, more open habit
Variegato di Chioggia: green with pink/red speckles, round tight head
Rosa del Veneto: That pink chicory you have been seeing everywhere!
Back in January we traveled to Italy along with 18 other farmers, chefs, writers, and eaters to join in the Radicchio Expedition. We toured farms, seed companies, and packing facilities. It was really the trip of a lifetime, we learned so much, made amazing friendships, and are more excited than ever to be growing radicchio.
Well, the Sagra del Radicchio is over but if you missed it, you can still find it on Youtube and watch at your leisure.