Arugula and Radicchio (rah-DEE-kee-oh) are two ingredients that may be new and different for you. Arugula, sometimes referred to as rocket, is native to the Mediterranean regions of Portugal, Lebanon and Turkey from Roman times and is considered an aphrodisiac. It has a rich, peppery taste, and is particularly strong in flavor and is very high in vitamin C and potassium. Arugula is used raw in salads mixed with other greens, and cooked as a vegetable, raw with pasta, meats or on pizza. Radicchio, sometimes referred to as Italian chicory is grown as a leaf vegetable and is white-veined with red leaves. It has a bitter and spicy taste, but softens when grilled or roasted. It has been used since ancient times mostly for its medicinal properties as a blood purifier and aid for insomniacs. Overall, radicchio is popular in Italy and is eaten grilled in olive oil or mixed into dishes such as risotto, but in the United States, where it is becoming more popular, it is eaten raw in salads, used as a poultry stuffing, or mixed with pasta. Two special ingredients that have a heck of a lot of properties to offer to anyone willing to try them!
The use of both arugula and radicchio in my Super Salad is as raw ingredients to be combined with a sweet pear and a tasty vinaigrette dressing, not to mention served with classic fresh toasted garlic rounds. The slight peppery flavor of arugula mixed with the bite of the bitter radicchio paired (no pun intended) with the sweet pear slices and the punch of the balsamic vinaigrette makes this recipe one of my favorite springtime go-tos. Whether entertaining guests’ stomachs or just entertaining your own, this dish will provide an array of textures from crispy to crunchy to soft to chewy… and the variety of flavors to satisfy taste buds and hunger. A healthy, simple and inexpensive meal option for you to create right at home! Buon appetito!