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The crisp, mildly bitter leaves of this vegetable are delicious in salads. Discover when chicory is in season, how to buy the best, and how to prepare it.
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.
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.
As well as being enjoyed raw in salads, chicory can also be cooked on the grill, boiled or steamed.
See our collection of chicory recipes.
It will last for around a week in a perforated bag in the fridge.
Learn how to grow your own chicory from the experts at Gardeners’ World.
Look for firm, crisp leaves and avoid those with green tips, as they'll be very bitter.