The bitter edged sister to lettuce, chicories include radicchio, Belgian endive, escarole and frisée. You have probably seen these chicories turn up like lettuce as the base of a salad, or may have even eaten them cooked or grilled. These colorful and flavorful veggies are in season in October and can add a punch to all types of meals.
Chicories offer a broad range of vitamins and minerals, including beta carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C, E, folate, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Chicory root, which has long been used as a caffeine free coffee substitute, contains a unique form of carbohydrate called fructooligosaccharide, FOS for short, that support healthy bacteria in the colon. Some people are sensitive to FOS so be cautious if you decide to include some form of chicory root in your diet. Lettuce like chicories are a nutritious addition to anyone’s meals.
Try adding some colorful chicories to your next salad, just rinse and tear off or chop up some leaves and mix with romaine or red leaf lettuce. Radicchio holds up to grilling, cut in half and brush with a little olive oil. If you are looking to be creative, try this green eggs recipe, pairing escarole with scrambled eggs for a unique brunch dish. Enjoy!
Eggplant, Greens and Eggs- Enough for 4, add some toast and fruit for a well rounded weekend breakfast
1 head of escarole
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut up the eggplant into small cubes. Place in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes to sweat.
While waiting, pick 6-8 escarole leaves, rinse and chop. Heat oven to 375. Rinse eggplant well, dry and spread out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Roast for about 30 minutes, tossing after 15 minutes to evenly crisp. Once eggplant is done, remove form oven. Crack 4 eggs into bowl, and whisk. Heat a large saute pan on the stove over medium heat. Add remaining olive oil, and saute escarole. As escarole begins to wilt, add in eggs, and move the mixture around in the pan to help the eggs and greens cook evenly. Add in eggplant, and continuing scrambling the mixture together until the eggs are cooked through. Sprinkle with some fresh cracked pepper and a little salt.