17 July 2013

Chicory Flowers

Chicory has proven quite successful at St. Anne's. We planted it over a year ago and it thrives and in fact has become hard to get rid of as it sends up shoots from forgotten roots after you think you've pulled it out. We grew a variety called Italiko Rosso. The leaves are reddish green. The chicory family includes endive as well as radicchio.

Chicory produces amazingly beautiful corn-flower blue flowers.

Chicory is a dandelion relative. Many of my volunteers ask if this chicory is the same as the hot drink. This is the same family, but the drink is made from a variety called "root chicory". This is a cultivar that grows a large root, rather than focusing on the leaves. 

I find the most palatable way to enjoy chicory is to saute it, with a sweet balsamic sauce for example. You can eat the leaves raw, but it is bitter so complement it accordingly.