Read on to find out how to pair bitter chicory with sweet balsamic and salty blue cheese for a warm, hearty lunch.
The Warm Salad Series
Back in 2012 I shared a series of salad recipes which were perfect for the colder months – the theme was that these salads all involved “warm” ingredients, from grilled nectarines to roasted butternut squash. One of my favourite recipes from the series used griddled chicory as the star of the show.
It’s safe to say that my photography left a lot to be desired back in 2012 so when I remade this salad recently I grabbed my camera to take a few snaps. These photos may be a little rushed and not particularly styled but the beauty of this salad is that its not about how pretty it looks but about chucking together some tasty ingredients for a healthy and hearty lunch.
The base of this salad is the humble chicory leaf. I start by cutting the chicory into wedges before griddling them on a super high heat. I like to have the leaves really charred which helps to bring out a bit of sweetness in this bitter leaf.
Next I slice a sweet apple, crumble over some salty blue cheese and finish it off with creamy walnuts and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a little acidity. The sweet, salty, bitter and sour flavours of this salad all work really well together. Too much of one thing and it’s easy to have a bland and boring salad but with some many different, interesting flavours this salad is anything but boring!
Chicory, Apple and Stilton Salad Recipe
- 2 small or 1 large chicory heart
- 1 apple
- 100g blue cheese
- Handful of walnuts
- Balsamic glaze
- Turn up the heat under your griddle pan to really high.
- Cut the chicory hearts in quarters lengthways.
- Place the chicory wedges face down on to the hot griddle pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or until charred.
- Scatter the griddled chicory on your plate.
- Top with thinly sliced apple, crumbled blue cheese and walnut pieces.
- Finally drizzle with balsamic glaze to taste.
- First throw on the green beans and fennel.
- Griddle for 2-3 mins or until then begin to brown. Give the pan a shake then add in the cherry tomatoes and chicory.
- Griddle for a further 2 mins before turning over the vegetables.
- Once the vegetables have cooked through serve on a plate and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve hot!
There are so many textures in this salad with the crunchy walnuts also helping to keep you fuller for longer, this salad is a meal in it’s own right. Chicory is actually at it’s best in the depths of winter when the likes of iceberg lettuce and romaine lettuce struggle to grow so well. Chicory leaves are a little more substantial which means they hold up well to heat and have a bit more bite to them. It just goes to show that chicory is the perfect salad vegetable for the winter months in more way than one
More ways with chicory
If you’ve enjoyed this chicory salad recipe then you’ll love this Pan Fried Chicory with Crumbled Feta and Hazelnuts from Natural Kitchen Adventures!