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chicory - anyone have new ideas?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I've developed a taste for chicory, which is used a lot here.  If you don;t know it, you probably have it invading your lawn along with the dandelion.  Here; it's cultivated as well as scrounged (there must be another word, but it escapes me).  When i was a kid in the states i remember old italian women with aprons and a small steak knife cutting the tender young plants from the lawns and putting them in their aprons, held up with one hand to make a pouch. 

 

Chicory is very bitter, wherein lies its appeal - if you like bitter.  Which i do. 

 

Anyway, i know only two ways to do it - both after having boiled it in plenty of water. 

One is ripassata - that is, you put olive oil in a frying pan with some slices of garlic and hot pepper flakes, let them sizzle on low fr a minute and then toss in the drained chickory to cook a little more and to absorb the flavors. 

 

Two is to serve it cold or hot, with olive oil on top and squeeze on some lemon juice

 

Since i like these vegetables, and summer is approaching and they won;t be around long, i want to eat a lot of them, but am kind of sick of these two ways.  any other ideas?

 

thanks

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #2 of 21

Siduri, I've not seen chickory, but I remember my Grandmother drinking chickory 'coffee'.

DH have recently discovered Kale, which so many folks have told me is SO bitter.  I prepare it in the ripassata style as you call it and we love it, it doesn't have any bitterness about it.  I will look closer for chickory.

post #3 of 21

As a kid we used to make salad with raw chicory. As you can imagine as a kid I wasn't a fan of the bitter taste of the leaves, so they used some bacon to make it more appetizing. It worked!!

 

Soft boil some eggs.

Slowly render some bits of bacon in a pan, reserve the bacon bits and use the warm bacon fat to start a vinaigrette. I think you said you never make vinaigrettes, I guess you could just pour the warm fat over the greens, then pour some vinegar and mix. You know what to do. wink.gif

You can also fry some pieces of bread in the bacon fat to make croutons. 

 

If you like red chicory (Radicchio) you can... GRILL it! I cut one into four wedges, place a toothpick into each individual wedge so it stays together, pour a bit of balsamic vinegar (the sugar helps cut through the bitterness) and olive oil, S&P and grill!! It's delicious. 

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post

As a kid we used to make salad with raw chicory. As you can imagine as a kid I wasn't a fan of the bitter taste of the leaves, so they used some bacon to make it more appetizing. It worked!!

 

Soft boil some eggs.

Slowly render some bits of bacon in a pan, reserve the bacon bits and use the warm bacon fat to start a vinaigrette. I think you said you never make vinaigrettes, I guess you could just pour the warm fat over the greens, then pour some vinegar and mix. You know what to do. wink.gif

You can also fry some pieces of bread in the bacon fat to make croutons. 

 

If you like red chicory (Radicchio) you can... GRILL it! I cut one into four wedges, place a toothpick into each individual wedge so it stays together, pour a bit of balsamic vinegar (the sugar helps cut through the bitterness) and olive oil, S&P and grill!! It's delicious. 


I really like the bacon idea, FF, and you have a good memory.  I do make a vinaigrette for particular kinds of salad, and this sounds really good.  I think it might be good also cooked with bacon (what isn't?)

The trouble is the chicory i can find is a usually ittle too large and tough for salad and i don;t trust picking chicory at parks (or, even better for salad, dandelion! - less bitter and more flavor) for the pollution it must be covered with.  But bacon sounds nice. 

 

I do grill radicchio and also stew it with butter like belgian endive,  Or grill and top with gorgonzola or similar.  Can't grill chicory though smile.gif

 

Thanks for the idea

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #5 of 21

Your can stir bitter greens in stews or soups.  One dish that is great with chicory is a baccalao stew that I make.  Desalt the baccalao.  In a pot sweat a large amount of chopped leeks and one chopped onion.  Add quartered red-skinned potatoes, or any kind of potato that holds its shape in a stew.  Season lightly with salt and pepper, add a little water and cover until everything starts cooking.  Stir in the chopped chicory and cover again until the potatoes and chicory are almost entirely cooked through.  Stir in freshly chopped dill.  Lay the pieces of fish gently on top of the potatoes forming a single layer on top, sprinkle some more dill on top and some freshly squeezed lemon juice.  Cover and allow the fish to steam through completely.  

 

Serve with crusty bread.  The heavenly combination of salty fish, sweet leeks and bitter greens is out of this world.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #6 of 21

You can make chicory stuffed hand pies.  In Krete we call them hortopitakia, they are not like the widely-known spinach pies that are made with spinach/feta and phyllo dough.  In Krete we make them with a very simple dough (flour, water, a little lemon juice) rolled out thin.  They're made kind of like raviolis.  

 

Cook the chicory as usual, boil in water.  Drain it very well, get the moisture out then sautee it in olive oil with finely chopped scallion, and herbs of your choice.  I don't put any herbs at all usually.  But I do add lots of black pepper and some cumin which makes it very fragrant.  You can also put nutmeg in it as Italians like to do with their bitter greens or you can use the ripassata you described above.  Anyway, use it as a filling into your little raviolis.  Fold any way you like and then deep fry in olive oil.  These little things are addictive!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

Both those sound very nice, Koukou.  I make turnovers with olive oil crust, and chard or endive (italian curly) or escarole, gaeta olives, anchovies, garlic and baked, but these little fried turnovers sound great. 

thanks

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #8 of 21

Chickory is also known as curly endive. It used to be dehydrated roasted and ground into coffee. In New Orleans they still do this.  By itself is to bitter as a salad...Baby chickory is much better. It was added to the coffee to make coffee go lnger way as there were times when coffee was hard to get and extremely expensive.

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post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

Yeah, Chris, in italy during the war they had no coffee at all and only used chicory. 

But the one i'm talking about is not curly endive, which we call escarole, but is a thin, thready, very dark green weed.  It's not too different from dandelion that eventually makes a long stalk with pale blue daisy-like flowers on it.  You may have seen them on overgrown lawns.  Here's a cultivated one   http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.francescorosa.com/public/images/prodotti/200645182057_cicoria-buona.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.francescorosa.com/default/prodotti_dett.asp?id%3D66%26cat%3D2%26page%3D1&h=401&w=400&sz=15&tbnid=DpbQ4sCCqha14M:&tbnh=96&tbnw=96&zoom=1&usg=__ywH89QSDwKgkMUopNczx4dUIZZk=&docid=_vXFfiG_iN-T6M&sa=X&ei=iLugUcbDGYWP7Aa79oCACQ&ved=0CDgQ9QEwAw&dur=5559

 

The curly endive is much less bitter, and we use it in soups and in turnovers (like calzoni filled with cooked endive, sauteed with garlic, oil, olives, anchovies).

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post

It used to be dehydrated roasted and ground into coffee. In New Orleans they still do this.  

They still drink it in France too. They used to drink it in my family until not too long ago...

 

post #11 of 21

I could swear that pan caramelized chicory should be good, as it happens with many bitter vegetables. Sauté the leaves in butter, S&P, add a little honey or sugar until caramelized. Endives done this way are heaven also. As F&F we also used to eat raw chicory leaves in salads. I'm fond of bitter vegs. 

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #12 of 21

Here in states escarole and chickory are two distinct and separate things

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post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz View Post

Siduri, I've not seen chickory, but I remember my Grandmother drinking chickory 'coffee'.

 

It seemed strange to me you could make coffee from leaves, and apparently (as i did some looking on internet) it's in fact the roots that are used, toasted and ground. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ordo View Post

I could swear that pan caramelized chicory should be good, as it happens with many bitter vegetables. Sauté the leaves in butter, S&P, add a little honey or sugar until caramelized. Endives done this way are heaven also. As F&F we also used to eat raw chicory leaves in salads. I'm fond of bitter vegs. 

 

I do that with belgian endive, Ordo, I heat butter and a bit of sugar and then put the cut side of halved belgian endive on the pan and cover.  Then when it's nice and browned, i turn and cook the other half, and sometimes put some stinky cheese (gorgonzola, taleggio) on top, cover, and melt.  VERY tasty.  But i don;t know if the thin, stringy leaves would do well like that.  Maybe after blanching.  I'll have to try.  I like the bitter and sweet taste combination. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post

Here in states escarole and chickory are two distinct and separate things

Yeah, exactly, except that even when i was in the states there were even more.  And i did a little looking and they are all related; all in the chicory family.  As are Radicchio and Puntarelle and other stuff too. That accounts for the names being used interchangeably.  I doubt you can find what we call chicory (see pictures below) in the states, at least when i was still there you only picked it from your lawn (and that of your neighbors, who were glad enough for someone to remove the weeds. 

 

The recipes i'm looking for are for the first two, that are extremely bitter (and an acquired taste - it took me 35 years to acquire it!)

Chicory - wild  (Cichorium intybus)

 

 

chicory, cultivated (Cichorium intybus)

 

 

endive: (chicorium indivia crispum)

 

escarole (chicorium endivia latifolium)

 

 

puntarelle (cicoria catalonga or cicoria asparago)

  - typical roman salad, where you slit the thick stems in the middle lenghthwise, put them in cold water and they curl up, then dress with oil, washed salted anchovies and garlic. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #14 of 21
Chicory is great char-grilled then covered in honey and toasted with sesame seeds.
Peel the outer layers off and keep to one side.
I serve it with duck breast and a summer fruit jus. It gives a great bitter/sweet taste.
I then use the outer layers in salad. A great crunchy addition in mixed salads.
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by derringtondj View Post

Chicory is great char-grilled then covered in honey and toasted with sesame seeds.
Peel the outer layers off and keep to one side.
I serve it with duck breast and a summer fruit jus. It gives a great bitter/sweet taste.
I then use the outer layers in salad. A great crunchy addition in mixed salads.

You must be talking about radicchio or belgian endive, derriungtondj - the chicory i'm referring to is the first one in the picture above - there ARE no outer leaves, they-re all outer leaves!smile.gif and almost not much more than threads with a fringe of leafiness, no wider than 1/4 of an inch on either side, and jaggedy.    Though i know different that in places they call different ones of the vegetables above "chicory".  They're all part of the same family, but very different in presentation.  You can't grill these, the leaves would just fall through the grill. 

 

Ordo,  i had some leftover blanched chicory - the thin leaves - and heated some butter and a dusting of sugar and some black pepper in a frying pan, when it has heated up well, i put the mass of blanched and drained leaves in it and squashed it down to make a flat layer, and let it get a little caramelized.  WONDERFUL! 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #16 of 21
Sorry! Here in France (and England) we call what you're talking about curly endive or frizzee.
You could try shredding it and deep frying it (careful it will spit a little) then pad out on c fold paper, season and serve as a garnish?
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by derringtondj View Post

Sorry! Here in France (and England) we call what you're talking about curly endive or frizzee.
You could try shredding it and deep frying it (careful it will spit a little) then pad out on c fold paper, season and serve as a garnish?


Yeah, i know, chicory is the genus (cichorium) and the word is used differently in different countries.  Just found a nice picture of the plant.  I imagine it could be fried, but i get it by the bag, half a kilo, and we usually eat a good half plate of it each!  a few strands fried might be nice on top of something, actually, but I'm looking for an everyday way to make it as a side dish,  In the picture, you can see how thin the leaves are.  But when it's already gone to flower it's a bit tough and the tender leaves which are even thinner are best.  . 

 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #18 of 21

Frizzee is sometime called baby chickory, but it is not half as bitter .It can be grown hydroponicly and is usually in pre boxed mesclin.

 

Yesterday I tried a new onion. It tasted similar to a Vadalia only size was much smaller and more white. It is grown at base of Andes Mountains in Chile. Tasted fantastic and will be my onion of choice from now on . Also cheaper then our Vadalias. Don't know shelf life as of yet. A bit harde to peel then our onions.

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post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by siduri View Post

Ordo,  i had some leftover blanched chicory - the thin leaves - and heated some butter and a dusting of sugar and some black pepper in a frying pan, when it has heated up well, i put the mass of blanched and drained leaves in it and squashed it down to make a flat layer, and let it get a little caramelized.  WONDERFUL! 

 

Glad it was good! Caramelized bitter vegs can't fail.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post

 

Glad it was good! Caramelized bitter vegs can't fail.


something i've only recently discovered  - with belgian endive - but never thought to apply it further.  sometimes the mind goes from being a bus to being a tram, always on the same trackssmile.gif

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #21 of 21

A typical recipe from the southern Italian region Puglia:

prepare your cicory ripassata but without the lemon juice and serve it with mashed broad beans.

Mashed broad beans: put the dried (peeled) broad beans in the water for 1 night, then change the water, salt and boil until you can mash well them simply crushing them with a fork. Drain, add some olive oil and pepper and mash them with a mixer.

 

An other solution is to prepare a cicory risotto, the way you do with radicchio: fry the cicory and some garlic in oil, add the rise and cook a risotto.

At the end add some olive oil, stir and let rest 5 minutes before serve it.

My homemade Italian Liqueurs and Pastry recipes at: http://italianliqueurs.blogspot.com.es/

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My homemade Italian Liqueurs and Pastry recipes at: http://italianliqueurs.blogspot.com.es/

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