Red and green: Veneto at table!

Red and GreenRadicchio and Broccoli.

The Veneto region has identified and proposed 380 traditional products which are recognized by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies and included in the national list of traditional food products (PAT).

Broccolo fiolaro is a variety of broccoli (Cruciferae family) included in the list of typical products of Veneto, cultivated on the hills around Creazzo in the province of Vicenza.

The name derives from the presence along the stem of inflorescences that in dialect are called fioi or sons. Broccoli is harvested from November to February. The first person who fell in love with it was Goethe, during his journey in Italy.

In the last few years a new attention has been paid to broccoli, including the fiolaro broccoli; the recognized anti-cancer properties of this vegetable make it seen in a different light. This is witnessed by Johns Hopkins University (the oldest American university and one of the most authoritative in the world in the medical field) whose scientists have identified in 1992 in sulforafane, a sulfur protein mainly present in broccoli, a strong resource to fight tumors. Broccoli has a good quantity of calcium and it also has important antioxidant substances. Its consumption in good quantities is indicated in the preventive nutrition of cancers, in particular of the digestive system (colon, rectum, stomach), as well as in subjects affected by arterial hypertension thanks to the contribution of potassium. Tradition wants the most tasty broccoli to be the ones which have undergone the first frosts. Science has explained why: the plant, which is an evergreen, defends itself from frost by limiting its biological processes, therefore the water content of tissues; in the leaves is therefore increased the concentration of salts and sugars, exalting the taste of broccoli.

So on our tables broccoli in all its versions and also at AbanoRitz is not lacking: here are some suggestions from our kitchen: broccoli cream soup, rigatoni broccoli and olives, baked pasta with sausage and broccoli, potato and broccoli gateau, broccoli au gratin…

Also of this season and always a typical product of our region there are the radicchios of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) all originating from Triveneto. Generally speaking, the large family can be divided as follows:

  • Red radicchio: with a particularly intense flavor. In this group are included the red radicchio from Treviso, one of the most appreciated types, as well as the ones from Chioggia and Verona;
  • Green radicchio: includes the varieties of radicchio, but often also chicory, having a green color and a definitely bitter taste;
  • Variegated radicchio: such as the case of Castelfranco Veneto radicchio.

Radicchio is a very light and digestible food, particularly recommended to those who need to lower blood cholesterol and detoxify the body. It is mainly composed by water and fibers, but it is also rich in vitamins. Ductile and versatile in cooking it is excellent as a side dish raw or grilled or in oil, cooked in a pan as a condiment for pasta, in pasta and beans and as a filling in pies.

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