Chicory from T H Brown and Son
Also known as endive, chicory is a forced crop, grown in complete darkness, which accounts for its blanched white, yellow-tipped leaves. It has a distinctive, cigar-like shape, and the crisp leaves have a mildly bitter flavour.
Chicory can be eaten raw or cooked and comes in red and white varieties.
While much of our winter food is all about yielding, soothing, warming softness and richness, raw chicory packs a welcome, bitter crunch that can shock over-pampered tastebuds out of hibernation. It’s great in salads, dressed in a mustardy vinaigrette perhaps sweetened with a little honey, and tossed with toasted walnuts and chunks of apple or pear.
Chicory is a woody, herbaceous plant that has a wealth of health benefits, including the ability to ease digestive problems, prevent heartburn, reduce arthritis pains, detoxify the liver and gallbladder, boost the immune system, and reduce the chances of heart diseases. All in all, this small plant is a powerful addition to any diet.
Take a look at Nigel Slater’s Chicken & Chicory recipe