Radicchio Red Chicory
- Type: perennial vegetable, treated as an annual
- Planting time: after last frost in spring or in mid to late summer for fall crop
- Features: colorful leaves with pungent, peppery flavor
- Height: 6 to 8 inches
- Light: full sun with light afternoon shade in summer
- Soil: fertile, well-drained
- Plant Size: 6 to 8 inches tall and wide
- Spacing: 8 to 10 inches
- Garden use: kitchen gardens, vegetable gardens, herb gardens, containers
- Culinary use: salads, veggie side dish, grilling, pasta or meat accompaniment
Radicchio adds color to both garden and dinner table with its white-ribbed, wine-red leaves. This frost-tolerant vegetable is an Old World chicory that grows much like cabbage. Heads are small, reaching a size between an orange and a grapefruit. Leaves boast a tangy taste that’s been variously described as bitter, pungent, and peppery. The flavor sweetens when cool weather arrives—and also when leaves are properly prepared in the kitchen. In Italy, radicchio is a staple part of mealtime menus, sometimes starring in a main dish and other times playing an accompanying role. Americans tend to use this colorful chicory as a salad garnish due to the leaves’ bitter flavor. Serving with salt counteracts the bitterness and makes the radicchio’s high sugar content stand out.
Some Bonnie Plants varieties may not be available at your local stores, as we select and sell varieties best suited to the growing conditions in each region.