Sturdy, bitter chicories are at their best this time of year, but many of us overlook them in favor of milder greens like kale or Swiss chard. Because of their strong flavors, chicories — including Belgian endive, curly endive, escarole, frisée and radicchio — may benefit from cooking or pairing with other ingredients that can balance them out.
Let chicories shine by trying one of the five recipes below, all top-rated by our customers. Whether dressed and tossed into a salad or cooked slowly in a hearty soup, the crisp, bitter leaves lend unique flavors to each dish.
|Endive Salad with Persimmon and Pomegranate
This salad is a perfect starter for any cool weather meal, featuring pleasantly crunchy Belgian endive. Any salty or tangy cheese will be excellent in this salad; try using fresh goat cheese or ricotta salata in place of the feta.
|Penne with Escarole, Spicy Sausage and Rosemary
Bitter escarole is balanced by other strong flavors in this hearty main course, like spicy Italian sausage, red pepper flakes and earthy rosemary.
Traditonal potato-leek soup gains an edge from punchy endive in this recipe. The soup can be dressed up or down: Puree the vegetables for a sophisticated first course, or leave them chunky for a casual supper.
|Brussels Sprouts with Radicchio and Pancetta
Succulent pancetta coats vibrant radicchio in this flavorful side dish, rounded out by mild Brussels sprouts. The result is a salty-bitter-sweet medley that satisfies each and every taste bud.
|Ham, Bean and Escarole Soup
Chicories pair with pork again in this chunky soup, which features broad, tangy escarole leaves. As the headnote suggests, you can always substitute another leafy green in its place — but you may miss the added depth of flavor.