Seed Saving: Beginner
Jagged Catalonia Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Jagged Catalonia Chicory (Cichorium intybus): this variety is for consumption. The head has an erect posture but the stalks don’t develop too much, it leads them to remain tender during the cooking processes. The Catalonia can be harvested many times. Cut the head at the base and it will be able to grow back.
It’s easy to get adapted to all terrains but it is better to avoid water stagnation. It prefers rich soils, it's useful to alternate with those parts of the garden that are fertilized for spring crops. It can be a good ingredient for culinary purposes in many recipes, from boiled and sautéed, to pasta dressing, and baked.
It has excellent nutritional properties, it is low in calories (100 gr per 10 kcal), rich in iron, calcium and phosphorus and vitamins A, C, B2 and B3 in particular. It is optimal for a varied and complete vegetable garden.
The plant is biennial, to get the seeds you should leave some seedlings grow until the spring after the sowing, being careful to cover the plants with non-woven fabric if the temperatures approach 0º.
Cooking the Catalonia:
The plant is used in many recipes, here we offer you a quick, easy, and tasty : Catalonia sautéed with anchovies and chilli peppers.
For four people, 1 kg of clean chicory will be enough. You will need garlic cloves, olive oil, pepper, and anchovies.
Clean the Catalonia by removing the hardest and woodiest part at the base of the head. Separate the stalks and rinse them carefully to remove dirt and any insects it may have, then you can proceed to boiling.
Cut them to the desired length and immerse them in boiling water until they soften, but not too much, about 6 – 8 min depending on the size of the stalks. In the meantime, prepare the sauté, a few cloves of simmered garlic (without removing the skin) freshly crushed in oil and chilli pepper, let cook until the garlic has released an intense smell, then remove it to prevent it from burning and becoming bitter.
Add some anchovies and let them dissolve in the very hot oil. Drain the Catalonia and squeeze it a little, the less water there is, the more intense the flavor and crunchy consistency. Then sauté it in the sautéed oil, at hight heat, always turning it over so the seasoning is well distribuited. Add salt, and it is ready. This preparation takes about 15 min or less. It is a good side dish, and can also be used on toast.