Week of January 15th, 2023
What is Chicory? I am glad you asked. This is a large group of vegetables that graces the tables of many Europeans, but tends to be less popular on this side of the “pond” with Americans. There are as many types of chicory as there are lettuces and they range the gamut from sweet to bitter tasting. Some of the most common names are Belgian Endive, Escarole, Curly Endive, Frissee and Radicchio. However, the most well known chicory plant is the Dandelion! I swear I grow acres of dandelions every year in our pastures. Sometimes I have even considered mowing 2 foot strips and pretending I have fields of Daffodils (Big Smile). Ironically the Dandelion is an important plant as it has a deep tap root that mines nutrients and brings them to the service so that when the plant dies back or gets mowed those nutrients are added to the top of soil structure.
A few weeks ago, our supplier had sent us a mislabeled case of lettuce. It doesn’t happen often, but Curly Endive showed up serendipitously. Since we normally don’t have chicory’s on the menu, I noticed the interloper straight away. If I could do cartwheels, I would have probably tossed in a back flip, too. I was that excited!
In fact I was so excited that I grabbed a head, some onions, mushrooms, garlic and broth and proceeded to cook up a quick lunch for the team. Now if you have been a customer for a while, you know that I am a big fan of simple, quick and one pot meals! I firmly believe that nutrition is minutes away and cleanup should be quick and easy too.
The Curly Endive in some of your boxes this week and can be used as a salad item or as a vegetable like kale, chard or spinach. Use the whole thing in a pot of soup. Because the Curly Endive has an open structure it is easy to clean with a quick rinse, then pat it dry and lay the whole head on its side and cut it into 1-2” strips all the way down to the stem end. For me, I look to saute the onions and garlic and then add broth and everything else. Add the greens at this point, season and cook for 30 minutes on medium. Don’t be afraid to add other vegetables or proteins. Soups are a great way to eat healthy and eat your veggies!
Here’s to a healthy 2023!
- Tristan, Joelle and the Box of Good crew