Castelfranco, also known as the edible rose, has voluminous heads that unfold with wide, round, butter-cream and red-speckled leaves. One of the mildest of the radicchio varieties, the semi-bitter Castelfranco is ideal for eating fresh in a salad. Use it for a splash of color and add its soft, buttery leaves to any pasta dish. Pairs well with wines like Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc.
A Brief History
Castelfranco is native to the region of Veneto in northern Italy along the Po Valley and is from the city of Castelfranco. This radicchio variety has been cultivated since A.D. 800 and originates from a cross between Escarole and Radicchio Treviso. The flavor profile is milder than other radicchio varieties; it is slightly sweet with a tang.
How to Select:
Select tightly-packed heads with smooth, off-white leaves and deep red speckles.
How to Store:
Refrigerate in a crisper or in a sealed plastic bag to ensure it lasts up to a week.
How to Prepare:
Always rinse your produce under cool water before using. Castelfranco can be eaten raw by breaking apart or slicing the leaves, or cooked/sauteéd in pasta dishes. Check out our blog for recipes.
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