Monday, December 5, 2011

Rule #6: Results are worth the time and effort!

So what were my results????  So far really good this year.  I am ridiculously taking pictures of radicchio like people take pictures of their vacations!  Some years the results are not as good, but you learn from them for the next year.  Sometimes it's just the weather that affects your crop.  But this year they are spectacular and blanching them has proven well worth the little extra effort and completely yummy.  Blanching is basically (how I understand it) keeping the inner heart and as many leaves as you can from the light to make the leaves become lighter and also much more crisp and tender.  You can do this a few ways. When I first learned about it mom's friends were telling me in order to get my Castelfranco yellow with the red speckles you see on the seed cover and in the market in Italy, you had to plant them in sand and place them in a cool dark place.  Well this seemed like a little too much work and I never got around to doing it.  This year as a researched it and saw some suggestions from Seeds from Italy about blanching Endive. I tried it on all my heading radicchio.  You can either place a bucket over the plant or tie it up.  I actually found a youtube video of farmers in Italy tying the radicchio up.  I just took a thin rubber band, gathered all the leaves and secured them with the rubber band close to the top of the bunch.  You have to be patient at this point and leave it there for about 10-14 days.  Here are my results.  The taste is just amazing! I am now still in the process of "forcing" my Radicchio de Treviso which is a bit more involved and will be my next post!
Pan di Zucchero

Pan di Zucchero and Castelfranco Bed

Lusia Bed

Heart of the Lusia

Heart of Castelfranco

Opened Pan di Zucchero Heart

Closed Pan di Zucchero heart

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