ChicoriesYes, I highly recommend playing with your culinary cohorts!  Get to know one another!  Have FUN!!

This colorful pair of playmates are both from the Chicory family.  These are some excellent ingredients with which to invigorate your Winter diet!

The frivolous greenery to the right is Frisee; aptly named.  Frisee is a fine leafed relative of curly endive.  It has a nice bitter, yet slightly sweet flavor.  You can eat it raw, in a salad featuring, possibly a favorite, full flavored cheese, nuts, eggs, mustard, or citrus.  Additionally, it is excellent as a wilted salad!  Frisee can also be braised.  I think I might endeavor to create a recipe using this frolicsome ingredient tonight!

The luscious purple/red orb to the left is Radicchio.  You might have read my recent post featuring a warm radicchio salad.  This highly versatile chicory hales from Italy.  It also has the bitter notes, typical of this genus.  You will find Radicchio to have a subtle earthy quality in it’s flavor profile.  I particularly enjoy cooking it with vinegars, like Balsamic.  The cooking process brings out a wonderful sweetness, that is enhanced by the acids of the vinegar.  You might also try dressing wedges of Radicchio with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper then grilling for another addictive flavor!

For more ideas on ingredients to use with these lovely ingredients, I recommend Karen Page’s book ‘The Vegetarian Flavor Bible’Karen does a phenomenal job of giving us endless ways to combine and create with these and 1000’s of other ingredients!

So get out there and PLAY with your FOOD!  Chef Celinda

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