See that up there ^^^ ? It’s boys getting excited about salad. Totally the stuff I am sure mums and dads dream about, right? Well if that’s you – read on… there is hope for getting your kids to like salad!
For last week’s #52NewFoods challenge, the Petits Chefs worked with radicchio. Radicchi-what? Riduculo? We had some interesting interpretations of the name, for sure! It’s a risky food to work with, for sure – as Jennifer Tyler Lee says:
Radicchio is packed with nutrients, but it’s equally packed with picky eater problems. Its beautiful purple ruffles are loaded with Vitamin K and pumped full of antioxidants, but its flavor is downright bitter. The sharp bite is enough to send sensitive palate running from the room.
Um yes, well not one of the boys had ever heard of it before – there were a few wild guesses at what the lettuce-like red cabbagey-thingy might be! And as Jennifer says, it’s not an easy one to work into family meals…
It took some experimenting before we figured out a way to enjoy radicchio at our family table. First we tried thin slices sprinkled into DIY dishes at our rainbow salad bar. A few flecks here and there added a beautiful touch of color, and weren’t so scary. This is a great place to start when introducing radicchio—it gives kids lots of control.
I loved the idea of a DIY salad bar – as much because it really does give kids control over what they are eating by giving them lots of choice, but also because I knew there would be many jobs for little hands. The boys did a wonderful job chopping our colourful veggies and fruits…
We also worked with roasted radicchio – as Jennifer says,
The game-changing move came when we roasted radicchio. Roasting is the trick to mellowing the flavor of most bitter veggies, and it’s particularly effective with radicchio.
Although the boys were not keen on the flavour of the raw stuff, they really enjoyed the roasted version – “with lots of salt and oil” 😉 What a great experiment to show them how flavours can change so much through the process of cooking!
And the pièces de résistance? This:
And the boys’ plates?
… and these:
I mean, I’m not even their mum but I am SO proud of the boys! They all put so many colours on their plates, all chose a few things they might not have tried before and all tried radicchio in both its raw and roasted form.
And – sssh because I don’t want to jinx things – they were really excited about eating what they prepared! In my experience, kids will always be so much more willing to try (nor necessarily like!) foods they have had a hand in preparing so let them help you out and see what they choose to eat. You might be surprised!
Want to see 52 New Foods in action? Check out the 52 New Foods Junior Chef Classes at your local Williams Sonoma (call your local store for details!)
Please note: The product links from Amazon, Amazon.ca and The Book Depository are affiliate links meaning if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price which goes towards maintaining eat. live. travel. write. Thank you in advance!
Disclosure: I received a copy of the 52 New Foods Challenge cookbook for the purposes of taking part in the #52NewFoods Challenge through Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Ambassador Community. I was asked to create one original recipe for the challenge. I did not receive any further compensation for writing this post nor any other promotion of the book I might be involved with.
Canadians – win a copy of Brown Eggs and Jam Jars! Closes today, Wednesday February 18th 6pm EST. Details here.