Chicory is as old as history itself, being a primary ingredient in many Roman dishes. The plant’s green leafs (radicchio) are often eaten as a salad in Europe and the root is used as a coffee substitute. It is largely unknown in the United States except for in the south, mostly around New Orleans.
Here is a Cajun recipe you probably have never heard of but try it anyway. I found it in the French Acadian Cook Book published in 1955 by the Louisiana Acadian Handicraft Museum, Inc. The recipe was contributed by Mrs. F.A. McKague of Jennings, Louisiana. Even if you aren’t familiar with the culinary qualities of chicory give this simple recipe a try it and I’ll bet that you’ll become a certified aficionado.
French Chicory and Potato Salad
1 lb of onions 3 lbs Irish potatoes
1 head of chicory 1 lb of bacon
Hard cooked eggs
Boil and dice potatoes and eggs in separate dish. Fry diced bacon and onions until brown. Mix potatoes, eggs and chopped chicory in frying pan and cook for five minutes. Serve hot. Serves six.