Radicchio Shells filled with Forbidden Rice and Zucchini Spirals

Cooking with warm, bright sunlight shining into the kitchen was a treat yesterday! There’s just no way to get the colors of food shining the same way with artificial light (unless you’re in a professional studio, I’d imagine).
Ilian and I enjoyed over two hours outside in the afternoon, and discovered a sprouting maple seed in the playground’s sandbox 🙂
Spring can’t be far away now, right?

In keeping with our sprout-discovery, today’s recipe is an artful interpretation of a new plant’s first shoots poking out of dark soil in a little flower pot.
Radicchio, a form of chicory, is the basis holding this dish together with its purple-red bitterness. The leaves cradle a good helping of sweet, earthy, black forbidden rice, and mild spirals of raw zucchini explore their way onto the plate.

Ilian just loved to snack on the zucchini all the way through dinner prep. We talked about which veggies to grow this summer, and it looks like this one is on the list!

Radicchio Shells filled with Forbidden Rice and Zucchini Spirals

  • Difficulty: easy-intermediate
  • Print


  • 1 cup Forbidden Rice
  • 1 lb spiral-cut zucchini
  • 1 or 2 heads radicchio [the outermost leaves are what we need, the ones closer to the center tear easily and are too small]
  • 1 tsp salt
  • optional: your favorite vinaigrette dressing


  1. Boil the forbidden rice according to package instruction, or: add 1 cup rice and 1 3/4 cups water with 1 tsp salt to a pot, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for half an hour, let sit for a few minutes, fluff with fork.
  2. While the rice boils, cut out the stem of the radicchio head(s) and separate the large outer leaves.
  3. Place leaves on plate, fill with rice, and top with zucchini spirals. Feast with your eyes and tastebuds!

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