Celebrate chicories with this collection of 27 Chicory Recipes! You’ll find delicious ways to use radicchio, escarole, frisée and Belgian endive, along with information on how to choose and store each, nutrition information and so much more!
Every season provides its own unique bounty of seasonal produce, and I look forward to so many varieties during the winter months.
Chicories are some of my very favorite. I didn’t have much exposure to them prior to cooking school, but thankfully I gained plenty of experience with each variety there, and I quickly fell in love with all of them.
If you’re not familiar with them, they’re hardy lettuces that are bitter in flavor (some more so than others).
If bitterness isn’t your thing, this post will teach you how to tone down that flavor through the cooking process, or simply by pairing them with the right ingredients.
I use chicories daily this time of year, and I hope the collection of Chicory Recipes at the bottom of this post inspire you to use them a lot more often.
Chicories (Cichorium intybus) are hardy leafy vegetables in the chicory family that is similar to lettuce. They’re crisp and colorful, and are generally in season from late fall to early spring.
They’ve been cultivated from the wild chicory plant, which is a perennial with purplish blue flowers. The flowers and leaves of the plant are completely edible, and they have been used for medicinal purposes.
The root of the chicory plant, or chicory root, has been cultivated for centuries in Europe to be used as a coffee substitute because of its bitter flavor.
What does chicory taste like?
Chicories have a bitter flavor (some varieties more so than others), so they’re great paired with fruits, cheeses, nuts, meats and so much more.
Chicory lettuce is great raw, sautéed, roasted, braised, grilled and more.
When cooked, the bitterness mellows and a slightly sweet flavor develops.
What are chicory benefits?
Chicory greens and lettuces have a wide variety of health benefits. They’re low in calories and carbohydrates, and are good sources of Vitamins A, B, C and K, as well as betacarotene, folic acid and minerals such as calcium, manganese, copper, iron and potassium.
Varieties of chicory lettuce
There are two types of endive, Belgian and red. Belgian endive is pale yellow and white, while red endive is red and white. Both are small, compact and oblong in shape with crisp leaves.
Endive can be roasted, braised and grilled, the leaves can be stuffed and dipped, or it can be chopped and eaten raw in salads or sautéed.
Choosing and storing endive
Choose endive that is heavy in weight and free of discoloration, and store it in an open plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for up to one week.
You can also prep endive in advance and store it in an air tight container to use within 2-3 days.
Escarole is a head of leafy greens that is similar in appearance to butter lettuce, but it has a bitter flavor.
It’s nice and sturdy, so it’s great eaten raw or used in sautés, soups, stews and pasta dishes.
Choosing and storing escarole
Choose escarole that is heavy and free of discoloration. Store it in the crisper drawer in an open plastic bag for 5-7 days, and be sure to wash it well before use as it can be quite gritty.
Once it’s prepped, escarole may be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Frisée (curly endive)
Frisée is a variation of endive that is an open head of lettuce that’s bright green, pale yellow and white in color.
The sturdy leaves are crisp and curly, or frizzy in appearance, and it’s great in both raw and cooked applications.
Choosing and storing frisée
Choose frisée that is heavy in weight and free of discoloration. Store it in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator in an open plastic bag for 5-7 days.
Be sure to wash curly endive well before use as it’s very gritty. Once washed, blot dry and tear into pieces and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
There are several varieties of radicchio, including chioggia, speckled, treviso and castelfranco.
Chioggia radicchio is the most common. It’s a small red and white head that resembles cabbage, but it’s much softer and it’s bitter in flavor.
Treviso radicchio is similar to chioggia but is larger in size, while speckled radicchio is speckled in appearance and is a cross between radicchio and escarole with more delicate leaves.
Castelfranco radicchio has creamy white leaves with magenta speckles and delicate tasting leaves.
Radicchio leaves are great stuffed like lettuce wraps, or chopped and eaten raw in salads. It’s also great sautéed, roasted, grilled and more!
Choosing and storing radicchio
Choose radicchio that’s heavy in weight and free of discoloration.
Radicchio may be stored in an open plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to one week.
To prep, remove outer leaves and separate leaves to use as lettuce wraps, or chop for other uses. Once prepped, store it in the refrigerator and use within 3-4 days.
27+ Chicory Recipes
Salade Lyonnaise is a classic French salad with poached egg and bacon, crisp frisée and a warm, tangy dressing. It's an elegant salad that's guaranteed to impress!
Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Escarole and Beans
Penne pasta tossed with garlicky escarole, lean Italian chicken sausage, cannellini beans, crushed red pepper and grated cheese. I cannot even begin to describe how good this is! A winner with everyone in my home, even my picky kids. Easily made gluten free with gluten-free pasta, for those of you w…
Boiled Leafy Greens or Horta Vrasta in Greek are a staple in Greek cuisine and a popular side dish. This simple to make recipe is served dressed with good olive oil and lemon juice for a healthy, nutritious dish.
Italian Chopped Salad is packed with salami, chickpeas, olives, parmesan, veggies and it's tossed in a zesty Italian dressing! It can be customized using what you have on hand and it's great for meal prep!
If you like Caesar salad with plenty of anchovies and garlic, then this is the salad for you! The dressing can be made ahead of time, and it flavors the bitter chicories and hearty radishes quite nicely. This is also a great make-ahead salad, as all the vegetables won’t wilt quickly and can actually benefit from sitting in the dressing a bit to mellow out.