Bitter Sweet Chicory

Cooking time
Serves2-4 people
Bitter Sweet Chicory

Chicory is gorgeous raw and dipped into a blue cheese dressing. You can also use the leaves like little food boats and pile all sorts of wonderful flavours into them. But if you fancy something completely different, try this cooked, bitter-caramelised, almost lacquered version.

16 ratings


  • 2-4 chicory
  • A few tbsp butter
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 glass of orange juice
  • A squeeze of honey or agave syrup
  • A handful of parsley, chervil or coriander, to serve (optional)

Prep: 5 mins / Cook: 15 mins

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1. Halve th chicory lengthwise. Carve out the smooth little triangle bit of white in the centre – removing it helps the chicory cook more evenly.
2. Heat a frying pan on the hob. Add a knob of butter and melt till frothy.
3. Add the chicory halves, cut-side down. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Let them cook for a min or 2, then add enough orange juice to come about 3/4 way up the chicory, so just the arched back is peeping up. Let the juic bubble up for a min. Cover and cook until the chicory slices are tender.
5. Uncover the pan. Drizzle in the honey/agave. Let the sweetened juice reduce down to a thick, dark, toffee-like syrup. The cut-side of the chicory should be golden.
6. Arrange the chicory in a dish. Scatter some fresh herbs over the top, if you like, and serve. Amazing served with pan-fried fish or puy lentils.
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