Monday, 11 February 2013

Chicory from plot to plate

Documenting the journey of one lovely Radicchio plant...

26 January - growing in one of the raised beds (note the last vestiges of snow on the leaf in the foreground)

2nd February. Harvested, along with some other less impressive "saladings"

Indoors then for washing...

Once the outer leaves are removed, a real beauty is revealed.

Photographed in the kitchen, in the afternoon sunshine:

And then it becomes part of our salad.

The End!

Radicchio / chicory is an excellent Winter crop. It is hardy and will survive some very low temperatures (assuming you choose the right varieties). Also, it keeps in good condition for a long time once harvested, which is good because it means you can use a few leaves at a time to add colour, texture and flavour to other salad elements.

A good source of Radicchio seeds is Seeds of Italy. They sell the excellent Franchi brand of seeds, one of the most attractive aspects of which is that the packs have huge quantities of seeds in them - none of this "contains 6 seeds" rubbish; more like 600!

I'm entering this post Harvest Monday, hosted by Daphne's Dandelions.


  1. I'm forever muddled between chicory and endive.

  2. It is a lovely colour Mark. I may try some this year on my plot.

  3. It certainly brightens up a salad. I don't often buy tomatoes but I just fancied a cheese and tomato sandwich yesterday, I wish I hadn't bothered, they were tasteless. Roll on tomato harvesting time. Hmmm, I really am wishing my life away for the sake of a tomato.

  4. Thank you for the seedhouse link and comment on their seeds. Don't get me started on seed count and weight...there's a blog for you then!!

    I have not eaten much chicory, but it was part of a winter greens packet I sowed and I think, last time I looked, the four I transplanted are still doing fine in the raised bed and you know we have had temps to 24 below. Unknown variety of course, unless I can find the old seed packet.

  5. a beautiful journey... I wish i'd been there!

  6. Bellisimi! I've chicory envy... we seem to be able to grow the catalogna type but are still stumped by the head variety.

  7. That is just beautiful, Mark! A work of art, as is all God's creations!

  8. A very fine specimen! I had no idea they would do so well over winter. Thanks for the tip!

  9. wonderful photos Mark,havent tried growing chicory before before yet have eaten loads of it in Italy as my best friend lives there.I have some seed I bought back from some very large square peppers-we are talking 4-5 inches square if you want to try some.Flowerlady

  10. Its such a nice looking salad - 5 star dining.

  11. Yes the Franchi seeds seem good value I've bought the mixed endives and rhurbarb chard this time.It's just like buying veg seed abroad but without the airfare.

  12. The third photo reminds me of a rose. Our old friend Fibonacci again?

  13. It really is a lovely plant. I've got to figure out how to grow it here.

  14. Planning to grow more chicory this year - and opted for Seeds of Italy too, agree re their generous quantities. Your salad looks beautiful, such amazing colours in the leaves. Knowing you're a Joy Larkcom fan, have you tried many of her oriental suggestions for hardy salad leaves too?

  15. So awesome Mark! Thanks for sharing :) And I agree that Seeds of Italy seeds are awesome!

  16. Absolutely stunning Mark - love the third photo down. I wouldn't want to grow 600 of these but am tempted to try it - don't suppose you fancy a seed swap?

    1. Hi Caro; I'd willingly give some seeds for this chicory - if only I knew which one it was! It came from a mixed pack I bought from Seeds of Italy. It's called "Misticanza di Quattro Staggioni". Some people have said it is of the variety "Variegato di Castelfranco", but I'm not sure...

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