Created in the 17th century by crossing Radicchio di Treviso and escarole, the variegated Radicchio di Castelfranco Veneto is a type of Italian leaf chicory grown within the provinces of Treviso, Padua and Venice. Thanks to its peculiar shape and blanched yellow leaves covered in red flecks, Radicchio di Castelfranco is often nicknamed 'orchid lettuce'or 'winter rose'.
Undeniably the most prized variety of chicory, Castelfranco grows in autumn and is very sensitive to cold winter weather. The flavor of its tender leaves ranges from sweet to pleasantly bitter which makes this versatile leaf vegetable used in a wide variety of dishes, from salads to desserts such as Sformato di Radicchio al Domino, a type of sweet flan made with ricotta, custard and chocolate.
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