Bitter radicchio is an Italian lettuce grown in the United States only since 1988. It has brilliant burgundy-tipped leaves with bright white ribs. It grows either in tight, cabbagelike heads or compact, elongated ones with tapered leaves and a white bulblike base; browning at the base is normal, but avoid spongy heads. Though it lacks chlorophyll common in other lettuces, radicchio is a good source of vitamin C and iron. Whole leaves can be used to serve hors d’oeuvres or hold salads like tuna or chicken; they also stand up well to cooking.