Sunday, February 22, 2009

Experimenting with Radicchio

Radicchio is one of those winter vegetables that I would never buy if it didn't come in my FFTY box. I remember picking it out of salads when I was younger (does last year count as younger?) and have never quite found a way to incorporate it's bitterness into a meal and make it taste good. When I read the recipe for Trevisio Radicchio and Red Onion Tart on iloveyoumorethanfood I decided I would do something similar with my next batch of beautiful purpley leaves.

Then, the other morning, already starting to worry about how the tart would come out that evening, I went to pull a pizza crust out of the freezer (I know I should make it myself, but for the money you just can't beat the Trader Joes almost whole wheat dough for $1.29) and realized I didn't have any left. Saddened I got on the bus and headed to work, arriving there two minutes too late and getting locked out while they pulled the jewelry from the vault. With some time to kill, I decided to head next door to the beautiful Williams Sonoma to oogle some kitchen gadgets. I thought maybe the team there would know of a place in the Union Square area to get a premade crust, and just happened to ask the house chef, who made my day by disappearing upstairs and returning with not one but two frozen pizza crusts that he'd made at a recent cooking class. I left Williams Sonoma that morning with the crusts, a vegetable steamer, and a flyer for my new friend, chef Gary Bulmers cooking classes. (I'm trying to convince Ryan to join me for Sashimi and Sushi: An Introduction on March 12.)

With this good omen for my evening meal and a new outlook on my day I headed to work and spent the day telling coworkers about how I just got free pizza crust from the chef next door and trying to work out in my head just how I was going to turn radicchio and kale into something delicious.

That evening I crossed my fingers and got to it in the kichen, chopping veggies, rolling out dough and sauteeing. I decided at the last minute to create a calzone which looked beautiful coming out of the oven (I'm so bummed I forgot to get a picture of it) and tasted unique. Ryan always tells me my dinners are delicious whether I deserve it or not, and after pressing him for his real opinion he told me it tasted "gourmet". I took it as a compliment and called the expirament a success.

Radicchio, Kale and Red Onion Calzone
1 small head radicchio
1 bunch dino kale
1 medium red onion
1 tsp garlic
1/4 cup basalmic vinegar
1 premade (or homemade if you have the time) pizza crust
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Premade marinara sauce for dipping

Sautee red onion and garlic in a large pan until onion is soft. Add the chopped radicchio and kale and cook for about 5 minutes, until they begin to wilt. Pour basalmic over greens mixture and cook for a few more minutes, letting the vinegar seep in.

Work the pizza crust on a stone or large cutting board until it's thin and about 12" in diameter. Spread the ricotta cheese on 1/2 of the crust, as you will be folding the other half of the crust over to create the calzone. Pour your sauteed greens mixture over the ricotta and top with parmesan cheese, reserving a little cheese to sprinkle on top of the folded crust.

Place your calzone on a pizza pan on baking sheet and bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Slice calzone into six pieces and let cool. Serve with a side of warm marinara sauce (whatever you have open in the fridge) for dipping.

1 comment: