Radicchio is an Italian winter salad, which comes in different shapes.
The three most popular ones (all from the North Eastern of the country) are named after the place they were originally grown. The Radicchio di Chioggia is round, like a head of cabbage in shape, and with dark red leaves. The long Radicchio di Treviso come in two varieties: the Precoce (the first in the season) is a compact bunch of long fleshy leaves, whereas the Tardivo had splayed leaves and tough crunchy ribs.
We love them all, we buy what we find in the market (mainly the round one) and we cook them in different dishes such as risotto, ravioli, polenta and tarts.
Here we like to pair radicchio with the sweet red onion, which balances the bitterness of this beautiful salad and enhances its warm and deep red.
We add the mozzarella at the end to keep its full flavour and delicate consistence.
Radicchio and Mozzarella Tart
Pâte brisée (short crust pastry):
200 g white flour
1 tespoon sea salt
100 g cold butter, diced
20-30 ml iced water
30 g raisin
1 large red onion, finely sliced
500 g radicchio, trimmed and finely chopped
1 tespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons homemade breadcrumps
200 g ricotta
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 mozzarella, diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Sea salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Preparation time: 70 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
1. Place the flour and the salt into a food processor and pulse to combine.
2. Add half of the butter cubes (the colder the better) and pulse 4 to 6 times. Then add the remaining butter and pulse few times until you get a coarse mixture.
3. Add 10 ml of ice cold water to the food processor and pulse a couple of times. Then add more water slowly, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition, until the mixture just starts clumping together.
4. Place the mixture on a smooth surface and quickly knead it to just bring the dough together. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
5. Meanwhile, make your filling. Soak the raisin in tepid water for 10 minutes. Drain, pat dry and set aside.
6. In a frying pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté the onions with a pinch of salt on low heat for 5 minutes. Add radicchio and cook on low heat for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with thyme and salt and leave to cool.
7. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
8. In a large bowl, place the radicchio mixture and incorporate raisins, ricotta and Parmesan. Mix with a fork to combine.
9. Place the refrigerated dough on a smooth and floured surface and roll it out to a 40 cm rough circle, larger than your tin.
10.Arrange the disk on a 24 cm tart tin. Gently press down the dough over the bottom of the tin and leave the extra pastry over the borders.
11.Sprinkle the dough with breadcrumbs and arrange the radicchio and ricotta mixture on top. Roughly wrap radicchio with the extra pastry.
12. Bake for 40 minutes.
13. Dice the mozzarella and season with salt and oregano.
14. Remove the tart from the oven and cover with mozzarella.
15.Serve at once.