Chicory, Cichorium intybus, is a member of the Aster family and has quite a few common names. A more familiar name may be Belgian endive, French endive, or Italian dandelion. This perennial with its deep taproot puts forth blue flowers. Anciently, it was used as a medicinal or vegetable crop. Introduced to North America from Europe, chicory has naturalized and may be considered a “weed” in some areas of the country. In New Orleans, the roasted roots are used as an additive in or substitute for coffee.
Various traditional medicinal uses come to us from Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa. Medicinal preparations may include diverse parts of this plant, such as the leaves, stem, root, or flowers. Chicory has been recognized as a significant source of inulin and fiber, and it also has prebiotic qualities, all of which further digestive health. Practitioners have used chicory to treat, malaria, jaundice, wound healing, and as a digestive aid.
Cultivated chicory is used as a leafy vegetable to be added to salads. Some may not enjoy the somewhat bitter flavor of the leaves, a flavor that can be lessened by cooking the leaves.
To learn more about more about chicory: https://www.drugs.com/npp/chicory.html
Check out the recipes below!
- 4 to 6 heads of chicory sliced in half lengthwise
- ¼ c olive oil
- lemon or lime juice to taste
- Penzeys Sunny Spain or your favorite variety of seasoning blend
- Place the cut heads on a roasting pan or non-stick silicone baking sheet.
- Drizzle with oil and lemon/lime juice mixture. Sprinkle with salt and seasoning blend.
- Roast at 400 degrees, keeping careful watch as to not overcook.
- Remove to a plate and serve with an optional sprinkle of grated parmesan and parsley for a lovely vegetable side dish.
- 1 bunch of chicory leaves washed and cut length lengthwise
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- Penzeys Chipotle powder
- Steam chicory leaves until tender.
- Heat the olive oil on medium settting in a non-stick pan.
- Add the chopped garlic to the pan, then add the steamed chicory.
- Season to taste with salt and a touch of Penzeys Chipotle. Serve as a side dish.
Chicory Salad with Vinaigrette
- 1 bunch of chicory leaves and variety of other salad greens
- ¼ c pomegranate vinegar or red wine vinegar
- ¾ c extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T honey
- Dijon mustard to taste to taste- begin with 1 tsp
- salt & pepper
- Combine separated torn or sliced leaves of chicory and a variety of other salad greens.
- Whisk your vinaigrette ingredients together and add to your salad mixture.