We have been growing some leaf chicories for a number of years, and in 2017 managed to grow our first commercial crop of Puntarelle in the UK – we believe this to be a first.
This is an unusual chicory, in that it grows like a leaf chicory (looking like a very large dandelion), but then develops a base of swollen hollow tubes – this is the bit that you eat.
This makes a great starter, and the classic treatment is in this recipe from Rachel Eats.
These look a bit like dandelions and indeed they are related, but generally less bitter. They give a nice bitter kick as part of a mixed salad, but can also be steamed like spinach, which makes them less bitter. We grow both green leaf chicory, and this red stemmed variant which is that bit different.
These are great looking Chicory that hail from the area around Treviso. There are 2 types Precoce or Early, and Tardivo or Late. We grow both types, and are really taken with the colour and flavour. They work beautifully raw in winter salads, and equally well roasted.