Also known as endive, chicory is a forced crop, grown in complete darkness, which accounts for its blanched white, yellow-tipped leaves. It has a distinctive, cigar-like shape, about 12cm long, and the crisp leaves have a mildly bitter flavour.
Choose the best
Look for firm, crisp leaves and avoid those with green tips, as they'll be very bitter.
If the end is cracked or discoloured, trim it off, then remove any limp outer leaves. Then, depending on how you want to use it, either leave whole, separate the leaves, or slice lengthways into halves or quarters. Once cut, brush with lemon juice to prevent discolouration.
It will last for around a week in a perforated bag in the fridge.