Radicchio Revolution?

By Wini Moranville

Could radicchio be the new kale? Better yet, could Des Moines become the launching pad of the radicchio revolution?
Like kale, the scarlet-colored leafy veggie has its share of nutrients (specifically cancer-fighting antioxidants). Radicchio is also underappreciated (as was kale, until edgy Brooklyn chefs got their hands on it).

On March 1, the lesser-known veggie gets its chance to shine in a Radicchio Dinner hosted by Lucca. The fundraising event will benefit the Veneto Committee of Iowa Sister States, an organization that promotes mutual interests with seven regional territories and states around the globe (the Veneto is one such region).

Chef Diego Critelli, who hails from the Veneto, will prepare the dinner, while Lucio Gomierio, also from the region, will present a short seminar on radicchio (sometimes referred to as Italian chicory). Wines from Gomierio’s winery, Vignalta, will be showcased.

Who knows? If radicchio becomes as cool as kale, you can say you were at the start of it all.

The Radicchio Dinner will be held at Lucca, 420 E. Locust St. Hors d’oeuvres begin at 6:30 p.m., with dinner starting at 7 p.m. The cost is $100 per person (or $900 for a table of 10). Contact info@iowasisterstates.org or call 725-3163 for tickets.

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