- 4 cups fresh chicory leaves (during cooking it will significantly reduce its volume)
- 6/8 cups boiling water
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, whole
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 peperoncino (chili flakes), crushed or whole
- Clean and cut the leaves of the chicory. Wash them well under running water.
- Place a big pot of water to boil on the stove, then when the water comes to a boil place the chicory leaves in.
- Let cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Drain the chicory leaves in a colander and set aside to cool.
- When cooled off, squeeze remaining water out of them and make into a couple balls. At this time you can freeze some if you don’t want to use it all.
- In a frying pan fry olive oil, garlic and chili flakes.
- When the garlic is golden in color, add the chicory leaves and salt.
- Fry in the pan for about 10 minutes, stirring to let the leaves infuse with the oil mixture.
- Serve warm.
Chicory has a slightly bitter taste, especially if it is wild chicory. Boiling it, is a good way to eliminate some of its bitterness, and sautéeing it in the pan with olive oil, garlic and chili flakes, mitigate its taste even more. In Rome it is the most common side dish, a great compliment to meat, fish, cheese and even used as a pizza or crostini topping, or stuffed in a panino.