Did you know?

All parts of chicory con­tain in­ulin, a sol­u­ble fi­bre that pro­motes gut health and can even help with weight loss.

Gardeners' World - - Grow & Eat -

Nu­tri­tion

Chicory is a good source of vi­ta­min A, C and E, as well as cal­cium and iron.

How to grow

Sow seeds di­rectly into the soil in a sunny part of the gar­den. En­sure they are wa­tered well dur­ing dry spells to pre­vent bolt­ing and let them de­velop un­til au­tumn. In Novem­ber, dig up the plants and keep those with the thick­est roots. Trim the green leaves back to ap­prox­i­mately 2cm, these are ed­i­ble but usu­ally ex­tremely bit­ter to taste. Re­plant around five plants in a 25cm pot of com­post with the top of the plants ex­posed. Cover with a dark pot or old black plas­tic bag, to keep light out as this is what ‘forces’ the new white growth. Store any re­main­ing roots hor­i­zon­tally in a bucket of sand in a cool shed. Ev­ery cou­ple of weeks, pot up a few more to pro­vide suc­ces­sional har­vests. Check after a few weeks and you should see the white leaf buds – known as ‘chicons’ – grow­ing from your pot­ted up roots that you can cut off to eat.

Har­vest

Cut the heads off the roots whole and dis­card the outer, most bit­ter leaves.

How to store

Wrap in plas­tic to pre­vent dry­ing. The chicons can keep for up to a week in a fridge.

Our choices

For best flavour:

‘Totem’ de­li­cious and com­pact ‘Wit­loof Zoom’ for strong taste

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