Sautéed chicory, the recipe

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Louise Hay

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Chicory sautéed, as the Roman tradition dictates

Typical of the Roman culinary tradition, sautéed chicory is a delicious and easy to prepare side dish, just a few steps and a couple of fresh seasonal ingredients are enough. 

Unmissable presence in the gardens of the south of the country, chicory is also a plant that grows spontaneously (also known as meadow chicory, wild chicory or dandelion) or which can be easily found at market stalls, often like cultivated chicory, recognizable by the dark green leaves and long and fleshy white stems. 

Known for its purifying and digestive properties, chicory is also diuretic and friend of the liver, excellent for treating in a mild and natural way the discomfort of the abdomen.

Sautéed chicory recipe

Ingredients for four people: 

> about a kilo of chicory;
> a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil;
> a couple of garlic cloves;
> a hot pepper;
> two or three anchovy fillets;
> sale marino integral.

In a pot full of water blanch the well cleaned and washed chicory for about 7 minutes, adding a little salt. Drain it and leave it in the colander to lose water, then roughly cut it off with a knife; in the meantime, sauté the chopped chilli pepper and the crushed garlic in the oil, which you will then remove.

Then add the anchovy fillets into small pieces, mix and sauté the vegetables over a high flame for a few more minutes. Serve piping hot. 


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Variant of sautéed chicory

If you prefer a stronger taste, instead of crushing and removing the garlic, you can chop it and leave it in the vegetables; vice versa, adjust to the spiciness of the chilli and decrease the dose if you prefer a less strong flavor. For the vegan or vegetarian version of sautéed chicory, just remove the anchovies. 

So ready chicory is excellent for seasoning bruschetta, to accompany the Apulian broad bean, to enrich veg dishes, such as meatballs, panisse or omelettes, to accompany delicate and fresh cheeses, such as ricotta, crescenza or primo sale, but also as a special condiment for pasta. The sautéed chicory is an exceptional filling also for wholemeal panzerotti or focaccia


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Photo: Sonia Buti /


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