Grow to Love .... Chicory

Grow to Love... Chicory

Why love... Chicory? 

With its beautiful pale white leaves with rich red or yellowy green tips, Chicory looks almost too pretty to eat.

But don’t be fooled by its innocent looks - the crispy leaves pack a punch with a brilliantly bitter flavour, ideal for salads and stir-fries all year round.

Chicory is grown in complete darkness to give it that lovely white complexion. It comes in red and white varieties which can be eaten raw or cooked for a range of dishes.

Look out for the white’s distinctive teardrop-shape, while the Italian red type – Radicchio, is often rounder.

Did you know?

  • The root of the chicory plant can be roasted and used as an additive or substitute for coffee - popular in New Orleans.
  • Probably originating in the Mediterranean, Chicory was first used by the Romans and Greeks as a medicinal plant.
  • There are lots of confusing different names for the white variety, the French call it endive and the Belgians call it witloof (white leaf).  

Top tips

  • Discover the art of a good salad. Mix chicory leaves with rocket and lettuce and experiment with different ingredients like cheeses, walnuts and apple.
  • Try chicory braised, chargrilled or poached as the basis for variety of dishes. Its flavour is marvellous combined with orange, cheese or a creamy sauce.
  • Chicory can be baked as a simple side dish. Quarter a chicory head and lay it in a dish with olive oil, garlic cloves and even some thyme, cover with foil and bake for half an hour.
  • In true Italian style, shred a couple of radicchio heads and add to a pan with pancetta, crème fraiche and red chilli as a wonderfully colourful pasta sauce.

Recipe suggestions

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Download grow to love card (.pdf)

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