It’s been snowing today. So the sky and the general palette of the day are overwhelmed by whiteness (read: cold). And yet. And yet. When I walked into the vegetable vendor’s this morning, I was pleasantly ambushed by the persistent presence of red, pink and rose. Taking the charge, among the salads, was a radicchio rosa that I’d never seen. Befitting a Valentino runway, surely it would be as good to eat with the mouth as with the eyes. I took two small heads of it. And was pleased to discover, that it did not disappoint.
But this was just the beginning. There were several varieties of radicchio—both darker and variegated. (I passed.) There were radishes (rapanelli), red scallions (cipollotti), and rose tinged heads of garlic. And then, calling my name, was a small tub of olives, trying to be green, but wearing a veil of pink despite themselves. I grabbed a few of these items, though there were more, for the purpose of photographing them, and then I thought: what the heck, I’ll toss them together and eat them, too.
As if a gastronomic painter were at work behind the scenes, the flavors married and mingled beautifully as one might—sort of—have anticipated. The cautiously bitter nip of the rose radicchio, the audacious snap of the radish, the surprisingly sweet tang of the scallion, and the decisive punctuation of the paper-thin garlic slices mingled sociably under a drizzle of olive oil and a scattered pinch of sea salt. The olives were thrown on for appearances and to satisfy the voglia (craving) of the hungry photographer. Most likely the experiment of putting things together that visually “go together” doesn’t always work, but maybe it does. Nature is funny—and obliging—that way.