Monday, 17 August 2015

Chicory Tips

chicory tip

No not Chicory Tip, they were a very strange band from the 1960s. This post is about chicory, endive and escarole. In recent foray into horticulture, I planted seeds from all the packets in the tin. Many of the  coloured paper outers had gone, and I just had lots of the inner little foil packs.

One of these was labelled ‘endive’ – so we planted a row of these seeds, and had no idea what would emerge. Would it be the Belgian Endive, often called chicory [left]- or the curlier one sometimes called frisee ? [right]


…and what came up was a healthy crop of these leaves pictured below – which turns out to be the variety of endive called escarole.


Martha Stewart had some recipes, and I had a small butternut squash, so I made some ricotta with half a pint of milk [reserving the whey for scone-making] and halved the quantities in this recipe

Martha Stewart’s Spaghetti with Butternut Squash and Escarole

· Salt & pepper

· ½ medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½” pieces

· 12oz spaghetti

· 3oz unsalted butter

· 1 head escarole, leaves torn into 2” pieces

· 7oz ricotta

· 1 lemon, cut into wedges

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook squash for 3 minutes. Drain in colander. Return water to a boil. Add pasta and cook till al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot. In large nonstick skillet, heat 1 oz butter over medium heat. Add squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots and tender when pierced with a knife, about 8 minutes. Add escarole and cook, stirring, until just beginning to wilt, 1 minute. Add vegetables to pot with pasta. To skillet, add 2 oz butter and cook, swirling skillet occasionally, until butter is lightly browned and has a nutty aroma, about 1 minute. Drizzle over pasta and toss to combine, adding enough pasta water to create a light sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish, top with ricotta, and serve with lemon wedges.[serves 4]


I had wholewheat penne, not spaghetti – I think mine looks as good as hers. It tasted OK, but maybe I should have added more salt. Bob declared that the escarole tasted ‘very worthy’ [i.e. dull!!]


Do not confuse escarole - a vegetable, with barcarolle – a song sung by a Venetian Gondolier or rigmarole - a set of confused and meaningless statements [like some of my blogposts!]

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear, but endive is one of very, very few foods that I cannot like. But don't tell the boys. I berate them constantly for fussy eating...


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