In Season: Chicory

Most commonly eaten in a mixed-green salad, chicory is a bitter-tasting green that is divided into three varieties: radicchio, sugarloaf, and Belgian endive. The Radicchio variety has variegated red and green leaves and is commonly known as “red chicory” or “red endive.” Cooking chicory reduces its bitterness and is often sautéed with garlic and other spices as a side dish. It’s also packed with fructans, a carbohydrate compound that strengthens immunity, and can reduce your risk of colon cancer.
 
Greek Salad

1 1/2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
1 1/2 cups escarole, chopped
1 cup chicory, chopped
2 tomatoes, cut in wedges
6 radishes, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 can black olives (8 oz.), drained
4 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
1 clove garlic, peeled and split
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
 
In a large salad bowl, rub salt and garlic along the edges. Add prepared vegetables and toss lightly. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper. Before serving, toss the salad with the olive oil dressing.
 
Greens

2 cups chicory
1 cup spinach, chopped
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
 
Wash the chicory and cut into pieces. Cook olive oil, onions, and garlic over medium heat until onions are transparent. Add chicory and spinach and cook together until tender. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
 
Braised Chicory and Swiss
 
1/4 pound Swiss cheese, diced
3 chicories, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 pinch cumin seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
 
Add two tablespoons of oil to a frying pan over medium heat, then add sliced chicories. When chicories are transparent, transfer them to a covered bowl to maintain heat. Return the pan to heat and add honey and add cumin seeds. Allow the mixture to reduce for three minutes. Add the chicories and Swiss cheese, cooking for two minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.