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How to cook chicory: instructions for cleaning and cooking chicory. Tips and tricks to remove the bitter aftertaste of chicory and serve it at its best.
Therechicoryis a vegetable belonging to the Astreaceae family. On the market there are several varieties of chicory that differ in flavor, appearance and organoleptic properties. All chicories have a more or less bitter taste.
If you like vegetables, you can grow chicory in your home garden: this herbaceous plant is easy to grow both from seeds and from seedlings that are already developed and ready for planting.
How to clean chicory
There chicory catalonia(also known as chicory asparagus or chicory) and the wild chicoryare the most common.
How to clean chicory?
For clean the chicory must remove the base (which ends with the root system) and the most external and hard leaves.
In the photo above, stewed and sautéed chicory leaves.
The most tender shoots don't necessarily have to be cooked. It is possible to eat the most tender raw shoots, simply cut and seasoned with oil and salt!
On the market you can find thechicorysold in clusters or bunches. To clean the chicory tufts, as stated, you will need to remove the base from which the root system develops. Furthermore, eliminate the most external, hard and steppe leaves.
When thechicorythey are sold in bunches the situation requires more patience as the steeper jets can be many and even more difficult to identify.
Wash the clean chicory by soaking it in cold water and gently rinsing all the leaves to remove soil residues.
How to cook chicory
Let's start with the classic preparation. With thiscookingthe chicory will be ready for:
- filled with ravioli
- stuffed pizzas
- to use as a side dish
Therestir-fried chicoryit is easy to cook. How you do it?
The leaves of chicory they are blanched for a few minutes in boiling water and then sautéed in a pan with a drizzle of oil and a clove of garlic. There stir-fried chicory it can be an excellent basic preparation for the filling of cakes and savory tarts.
When you stir-fry the chicory, if you prefer, you can add black olives, capers and anchovies. This dish is an excellent side dish for both meat and fish dishes. It can be served cold, with the addition of boiled potatoes.
How to remove the bitterness of chicory
The bitterness of chicory can be more or less intense depending on the maturity of the leaves. The strategies we list are only partially effective when chicory is very bitter. Well-ripened chicory has a characteristic bitter taste which, with the above procedures, will fade away slightly!
- Cook the chicory with the peeled potatoes. In a pan with cold water, place 4 medium potatoes and boil. When boiling, add the cut and well washed chicory.
Please note: the cooking times of chicory depend on the maturity of the leaves and their size. Small leaves cook in minutes. Potatoes need 30 minutes to cook. If you want to finish cooking chicory and potatoes at the same time, keep these times in mind.
- Cook the chicory by adding a sparse spoonful of baking soda to the water. The addition of bicarbonate alters the color of the chicory and also has an impact from a nutritional point of view.
There is then another remedy forremove the bitterness of the chicory. In this context, the thermal shock is exploited. The chicory is boiled and then, once filtered by the cooking water, it is transferred to cold water with ice. Cooked chicory should be left in ice water for at least 10 minutes. After this wait, you can spread the chicory on a kitchen towel to let it dry. This procedure is known as "bleaching". Therechicory, thus treats, lends itself better to conservation. If you want to freeze cooked chicory, do this preliminary step.
- You can cook chicory with the addition of lemon juice and vinegar. These ingredients must be added directly to the cooking water.
Sweet chicory and bitter chicory
Please note, to avoid onebitter chicorysweeter varieties can be chosen. An example? The sweet chicory or sugary chicory of Trieste.
How to boil chicory
Just boil some water, add the salt and let the chicory cook in boiling water. Cooking times are 5 minutes for very young shoots (small and tender leaves) and 10 - 15 minutes if using mature and more fibrous foliage.