Chicory (Cichorium intybus var. Foliosum) is a popular winter vegetable that can be prepared in many ways. In this article, we clarify whether chicory is edible raw.
- Chicory is edible raw and not poisonous
- goes very well with salads
- can also be roasted or steamed
- loses most of its bitterness through further processing
Interesting facts about chicory
Chicory was discovered as a food in the middle of the 19th century and has been a popular salad for many years. In local regions, chicory is available all year round, but its actual season extends from October to April. The winter salad enjoys great popularity thanks to its hearty taste and at the same time it is also very healthy. It contains just 15 calories per 100 grams and provides a lot of important nutrients:
- Vitamin B1 and B2
Note: Chicory is also suitable for diabetics and rheumatics.
Chicory edible raw?
Raw chicory is excellent as a salad. Simply cut it into fine strips and then mix it with ingredients of your choice. Chicory harmonizes very well with savory cheeses such as blue cheese, feta cheese or gorgonzola. Fruits also go very well with the winter salad, as they balance its bitter aroma. Among the fruits that come into question for this purpose are the following:
- Citrus fruits
Tip: Most of the bitter substances are found in the chicory stalk. If you prefer a milder taste, simply cut out the chicory stalk.
Alternative preparation options
Chicory can be eaten raw without hesitation, but it is also suitable for further processing. Roasting and steaming not only causes the lettuce to lose most of its bitterness, but also gives it a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Chicory becomes particularly mild if you add a little sugar to the water during steaming. The following dishes with chicory are particularly popular:
- chicory stuffed with minced meat
- finger food with dips
- gratinated with cheese and ham
Tip: To prevent chicory from turning a grayish color during steaming, mix some lemon juice into the water.
Frequently asked questions
What to look for when buying chicory?
When buying chicory, make sure it is firm and has no brown or wilted spots. Likewise, you can tell if there are a lot of bitters by the appearance. The larger the chicory bulbs and the greener the leaves, the more bitter it tastes.
What is the shelf life of chicory?
Raw chicory can be kept for a few days in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator.
What is the difference between red and white chicory?
Red and white chicory differ not only in color, but also in taste. The white variety tastes tart and has a slightly bitter-sweet note, whereas red chicory is somewhat milder but spicier.