Chicory – salad with a specific bitter-tart flavor. The veins of its leaves contain a bitter substance “intibin”, which stimulates digestion. In the XVI century began using chicory as a substitute for coffee, which today finds its fans. Most types of chicory can be eaten raw or added to salads. And expose it to heat treatment – stewed in white wine, broth, olive oil, or baked soar.
Basically, two types of chicory are cultivated – endive (Cichorium endivia) and Common chicory (Cichorium intybus). To get the endive for culinary uses, from growing plant leaves are cut, leaving only the stem and root, and put it in a dark place. There are new endive leaves white, and they do not have the bitterness that is present in the leaves that grow in the sun.
Root chicory (Cichorium intybus var. Sativum) cultivated as a coffee substitute, but now more as a product of a healthy diet that does not contain caffeine, especially popular in the Mediterranean region, Southeast Asia, South Africa and the southern United States.
The chicory contains a lot of vitamin C and vitamin B complex in the veins of the leaves contain a bitter substance intibin which stimulates digestion, and inulin – prebiotic that improves the intestinal microflora.
The types and grades
Cultivated endive is usually divided into three main groups:
1) red endive (chicory or red) with red leaves on co-toryh clearly visible white veins, this plant a bitter and tangy taste, which is softened by heat treatment;
2) Belgian endive (Witloof) – with creamy-white leaves, slightly greenish at the edges;
3) shu-garlof very similar to Roman salad, only with tight leaves.
We have for sale are the first two options, called chicory.
How to cook
White leaves of chicory used as a raw and boiled, baked, fried. They extinguish the fire at the minimum in the milk or cream sauce, or used as a “wrapper” for meat. From the leaves of chicory make a tasty saute with garlic and anchovies, which is an excellent accompaniment to pasta dishes or meat. But before you make a cell, you need to boil the leaves and drain the water. Due to the shape of the boat from the leaves make excellent a la carte “plates” for snacks.
If kochanchiki cut in half, lightly fried and baked with cheese, you get a classic Belgian dish.
Before cooking chicory, you must cut the stalk, it is the most bitter. Leaves of wild chicory is also used in food, but they are serious taste bitter. Nevertheless, their bitter like gourmets in the Italian regions of Liguria and Puglia, in Spanish Catalonia, in Greece and Turkey.
A selection of drinks on the basis of chicory is great, but for the sake of improving and enriching the flavor manufacturers produce soluble chicory with various additives – buckthorn, cranberries, blueberries, cinnamon, rose hips. There chicory packaged, it can be brewed as a tea, but there chicory powder.
Chicory powder can be added to baked goods, especially keksovoe dough. A few teaspoons of chicory should be diluted in a little water or milk, and better Sift together the flour and add the oil-egg mixture. Ground chicory give baked goods a pleasant nutty flavor.
Ancient and modern folk medicine has always found many ways to use chicory. For example, it is believed that the chicory eliminating the parasites. And not so long ago in Germany made from chicory tonic, which treated the gallbladder, gastroenteritis, nasopharynx, as well as bruises and cuts. Inulin contained in chicory, modern medicine is used as an ingredient for the production of drugs for diabetes and constipation.
The season is only applicable to the endive leaves. Drink chicory can be bought all year round.
How to choose and store
Keep chicory should be dry and, most importantly, dark place: the light leaves made unbearably bitter. It perfectly absorbs odors, so do not put it next to onions or garlic.
Buying endive, choose tightly closed kochanchiki heavy with yellow tips. Leaves with green tips gorchat more.