Monday, December 12, 2011

Radicchio Roll-Ups

A new idea for a lower carb lunch

I try to limit my carb intake where possible, but I'm not a fanatic about it.  For example, I have cereal for breakfast every day.  There are plenty of carbs in most cereals, but I think that's a lesser evil than the fat you encounter with bacon and eggs.  I had been limiting sandwiches to the weekends, but I tried something new this time around and I really liked it!

High quality tuna with radicchio

Being a creatur of habit, I often have tuna sandwiches on big brioche hero rolls.  I figured I don't have sandwiches on the weekdays - I opt for soup and a salad - so those two brioche rolls over the weekend aren't a big deal.  But I thought I'd try serving my sandwiches in radicchio leaves this week.  It's really tastey and I wasn't missing the bread at all.  Radicchio is a white-veined red leaves.  They are on the bitter side - and make for a stunning display. 

Fun fillings for the radicchio roll-ups

Minimal ingrients added to tuna

I buy the As do Mar tuna.  It's from Portugal, canned in Genoa and sent to the US for distribution.  It is packed in oil.  I had avoided tuna packed in oil for years until I discovered that they have more taste and character than your run-of-the-mill Bumble Bee tuna.  I was finding the Bumble Bee was getting mushier and mushier.  The As do Mar tuna has a darker coloring and firmer texture.  There isn't a fishy smell when you open the can.  It's delicious.  It should be noted that canned tuna fish can be high in mercury so best not to have it more than once or twice a month.  I added a bit of champagne vinegar and red pepper flakes and retained some of the oil it was packed in for extra flavor.  No need to add mayonnaise.

Arrange the radicchio leaves in a circle

Don't forget the lemon!

Hot peppers, red pepper flates, Meyer lemon rind

Make your own Lazy Susan

I arranged three layers of the radicchio.  I scooped the tuna mixture into them and around the sides I had the fillings: cornichons, hot peppers and Kalamata olives (pitted).  I ended up having all three fillers in each roll-up.  I also had two layers of the radicchio leaves for more texture and crunch.  Just chose your toppings, place on top of tuna and roll up the leaves to make little sandwiches (without the bread).  I found this a bit more fun than a traditional tuna salad with a scoop of tuna sitting on a bed of lettuce.


1 head radicchio - rinsed
1 small can As do Mar tuna in oil - or your favorite brand
1 tspn champagne vinegar
1/8th tspn Meyer lemon rind (or lemon zest)
1/8th tspn red pepper flakes
Fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste
Salt & pepper to taste

Side suggestions

1/4 cup cornichons
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup banana peppers (or your favorite peppers)


Mix the tuna, champagne vinegar, lemon juice and dry ingredients in a bowl
I keep the tuna in the fridge when I get it home from the store if you don't do this, chill the mixture before serving
Arrange radicchio leaves on the plate leaving room to put the fillings on the side
Scoop equal amounts tuna in each leaf
Add salt & pepper and serve

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