Crispy, bittersweet Chicory mainly comes in elongated compact Salad Leaves. The Chicory Leaves look like pointy little boats which pack a very welcoming crunch within a Salad. The other name of the Chicory as a Salad Leaf is actually Endive. To be more precise it is called the Belgian Endive or the Witloof which means White Woolf probably because of the bite it does give when we are not accustomised to its bitterness.
White Chicory Leaves.
But let us call it Chicory as a lot of people are accustom to call it like that. Chicory as we know it is native to western Asia, Northen Africa and Europe with classical Author Horace from the Antiquity mentioning it as 'Cicorea'. This prove the ancient name of Chicory.
There are about three types of Chicory: the Raddichio, the Belgian Endive and Catalogna Chicory. Then there are many varients, as we say cultivars or subspecies of Chicory.
Raddichio is more rounded as a Salad, however its Leaves are also bitter and have a slight spicy taste. Raddicchio has variagated Leaves which are red and white but can sometimes be red and green.
The red variagated leaves are very welcomed within a Salad to bring some colour and bitterness.
Cooked the Raddichio will lose some of its bitterness. The sliced or rather quartered Raddichio can be roasted, grilled, braised, sautéed, stewed or steemed and of course served into a Salad. There we can say that the Raddichio is very versatile because of its lots of manner to be cooked or we can say to be eaten.
Potatoes, Raddichio and Radishes Salad. The Raddichio serve to give colour but provides the Salad a bed for the other ingredients.