Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Radicchio and Pizza

Consumers have embraced radicchio — served in warm salads, baked in a gratin, tossed into pasta or risotto, or enjoyed hot off the grill. Now diners are featuring radicchio in a consumer favorite — pizza.

Radicchio is a natural for pizza and can be served hot, baked on top of a pizza, or served cool, tossed into a salad that tops a pizza. With the introduction of focaccia breads in supermarkets, it's easier than ever for busy consumers to customize their own pizzas at home. While pepperoni is still the favorite topping, Americans are becoming more adventurous as they enjoy toppings that represent a great fusion of flavors and ethnic cuisines.

Radicchio Treviso holds its shape when cooked and is a natural for this Treviso, Sundried Tomato and Goat Cheese Pizza.

Treviso, Sundried Tomato & Goat Cheese Pizza

1/3 cup olive oil
3 cloves crushed garlic
¼ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil plus 1 Tablespoon oil from tomatoes
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

1 - 12-inch pizza crust
½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated
¼ cup yellow bell peppers, cut into strips
¼ cup red bell peppers, cut into strips
2 tablespoons diced green peppers
6 to 8 Royal Rose™ Treviso leaves
10 cloves of garlic sautéed until golden
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400° F. Whisk first six ingredients in a bowl. Brush crust generously with marinade, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and peppers. Bake until cheese bubbles, about 10 minutes. Remove pizza from oven. Brush leaves generously with remaining marinade. Fan treviso around pizza Sprinkle with garlic, and goat cheese. Return pizza to oven and bake until treviso softens, about 10 minutes.

Serves 4-6

According to an American Dairy Association random sampling survey, pizza is America's fourth most craved food, behind cheese, chocolate and ice cream.

Approximately 3 billion pizzas are sold in the U.S. each year, according to the National Association of Pizza Operators (NAPO).

Statistics gathered by the NAPO show that Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza each day, or 350 slices per second.

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