I really like winter vegetables, the variety is immense, the quality outstanding.
Winter vegetables include: artichokes, Asian greens, avocado, beans, beetroot, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cardoons, carrot, catalogna, cauliflower, cavolo nero, celeriac, celery, chicory, cime di rapa, cucumber, daikon, endive, fennel, kale, Kohl Rabi, lamb’s lettuce, leek, lettuces, mushrooms, okra, onion, parsnip, potato, pumpkin, radicchio, radish, rocket, shallots, silverbeet, spinach, spring onions, swede, sweet potato, turnip, watercress and witlof.
When I look at the above list of vegetables I know that I have not included recipes on my blog for the following vegetables: daikon, okra, parsnip, shallots, swede and probably turnip. This is not to say that I don’t use these vegetables, but I tend to write more about Mediterranean vegetables.
My blog is called All Things Sicilian and More and I have written many recipes for winter vegetables. Although the “and More” in the title of my blog is supposed to imply that I cook more than Sicilian food, I tend to write about Italian cooking because this is my background, the cooking of my childhood and the basis of my cooking.
I use Asian greens in my cooking as well, and I particularly enjoy mustard greens, that I have cooked as I cook cime di rapa with pasta. I cook Chinese green leafy vegetables as I cook European leafy greens: stir fried in extra virgin oil and garlic. Sometimes I add anchovies and sometimes chillies.
During this season, I will revisit some recipes that include winter vegetables and the vegetables I have chosen to begin with are two chicories: Cicoria and Catalogna.
Catalogna is a variant of cicoria. In Italy is also called Puntarelle or cicoria di catalogna or cicoria asparago: asparago means asparagus and this name is very appropriate as the plant looks like a head of shoots.
Catalogna (Puntarelle) has leaves that look like large leaves of chicory and dandelions, but more pointy and narrower; its leaves and shoots have the same bitter taste. And I love bitter greens.
Like chicory, the young and tender shoots of Catalogna can be eaten raw in salads. It is common to soak the puntarelle shoots in ice water for a while so that they curl. and then to dress them with a vinaigrette with anchovies and garlic. They are delicious.
Dressing with anchovies: 500g- 1 kilo puntarelle, 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, 1tbs of vinegar, 3-4 anchovies, 1 clove of garlic. Pound the anchovies and garlic, add the oil and vinegar.
I have been writing about cicoria and puntarelle for a very long time.
This post was published on Nov 9, 2009 and it is worth looking at:
CICORIA and Puntarelle (Chicory)
There are other posts with recipes and information about chicory:
CICORETTA CON SALSICCIA (Chicory with fresh pork sausage)
WANT NOT WASTE NOT- Chicken livers and chicory, twice
BITTER GREENS and AMARI (Aperitivi and Digestivi)