Chicory served with walnut, apple and roquefort
I separate the leaves and add finely chopped parsley and mild vinaigrette, to serve with creamy goat’s cheese or salty Roquefort. Either could be incorporated into a salad, adding a few walnuts too. Halve the leaves lengthways to make eating them more manageable.
For a robust winter salad, toss the leaves with capers, green olives and coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley – and a vinaigrette flavoured with Dijon mustard.
Slicing chicory in rings makes a small amount go a long way; try it with boiled beetroot or tomatoes, dressing them with olive oil and lemon juice. The latter has a softening effect on the flavours, especially when the chicory is cooked. Gently braising whole heads in butter with lemon juice turns them into a juicy, tender and creamily bitter vegetable – good with pork and veal, and delicious, too, with grilled or roast tomatoes. Braised heads of chicory can be sprinkled with grated Gruyère and browned under the grill, or smothered, then boiled for a few minutes, in double cream. Wrap them in ham and cover with a Gruyère-based cheese sauce. Make the dish in advance and pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes until blistered and bubbling. I love it with mashed potato and Brussels sprouts; look out for the red variety – and remember adding a squeeze of lemon or splash of vinegar will stop the colour fading.
Try these great chicory recipes
Chicory, apple and brie salad.
Chicory, walnut and parsley salad.
Californian cobb salad.
Luxury cheese on toast.