Cicoria Alla Romana: Sautéed chicory greens roman style

Cicoria Ripassata alla Romana is an italian tasty side dish so easy to make and truly a delicious way to add green leafy vegetables into your meals.

What is Cicoria?

Cicoria is the italian name for chicory, also know as dandelion greens or wild endive.

The green leaves have a bitter and spicy taste that will mellows once cooked. Here in Italy, cicoria is a big deal and there’s no restaurant that doesn’t include it in their menu.

Cicoria Ripassata in Padella is a typical dish that comes from the cucina povera (poor cuisine), a real example of how once upon a time, eating local food was just a way of living and a necessity, instead the luxury that it has become.

My mother in law has told me many times the story about when she was a kid they used to go to the fields just outside Rome or walk along the roads of the city to pick up wild chicory, then go back home and have it for dinner.

Close up of cicoria (italian chicory).

Roman Style Sautéed Chicory

There are many ways here in Italy to cook cicoria ripassata in padella, some may include anchovies to give a flavour kick, some others add tomatoes or even toasted pine nuts.

But definitely my favourite is how my mother in law taught me: Alla Romana. The beautiful bitter greens are first boiled and then sautéed in a good extra virgin olive oil with lots of garlic and chilli peppers (peperoncino). Heavenly delicious!

How To Eat It

Even though cicoria ripassata is mainly served as a side dish, truth is that here in Italy, people eat it in many other ways, like on top of a pizza, on toasted bread (bruschetta), stuffed on a panino or focaccia, with pasta or to make frittata just to name a few.

My favourite quick lunch when we are walking the streets in Rome is to stop at any tavola calda (take-away restaurant) and buy a slice of focaccia which I ask to stuff with mortazza and cicoria. OMG…I am drooling while I write this!

Serve It With

Ingredients

CHICORY: Also know as dandelions greens or wild endive. Remember it will significantly reduce its volume once cooked, so get a nice bunch, at least one pound!

OIL: Extra virgin olive oil is the best for cooking sautéed vegetables. If you don’t have that type just use your regular olive oil.

GARLIC: It depends in your taste. I like my chicory to have a nice garlic flavour and that’s why I also like to add it chopped, while my mother in law will just sautée the whole cloves to release the aroma and then discard it.

PEPERONCINO: I use what I have available at the moment, sometimes is fresh red peperoncino, sometimes is peperoncino flakes or sometimes regular dried peperoncino which I just crush it before adding it.

SALT: Some for the water to boil the chicory and some to adjust at the flavour at the end.

The Recipe

Clean the chicory of any wilted or rotten leaves. Wash it accurately under running water.

Place a big pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the water starts boiling add salt and the chicory, pushing with a cooking spoon to submerge all the leaves into the boiling water.

Let it simmer for about 4 minutes or until tender (but not mushy). Drain the cicoria in a colander and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for a couple of seconds to release the aroma and flavour.

Add peperoncino and quickly stir for 2-3 seconds. Be careful as you don’t want peperoncino to burn out.

Add the cicoria and stir throughly to allow the greens infuse with the oil and garlic mixture.

Adjust with salt to taste and serve warm or at room temperature.

Watch The Video

cicoria

Cicoria Ripassata alla Romana is an italian tasty side dish so easy to make and truly a delicious way to add green leafy vegetables into your meals.
PREP 10 minutes
COOK 10 minutes
TOTAL 20 minutes
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 4
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 900 gr (2 lb) chicory
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 4 tbsp Extravirgin olive oil
  • chillies (peperoncino)
  • salt

Instructions

  • Clean the chicory of any wilted or rotten leaves. Wash it accurately under running water.
  • Place a big pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the water starts boiling add salt and the chicory, pushing with a cooking spoon to submerge all the leaves in the boiling water.
  • Let it simmer for about 4 minutes or until tender (but not mushy).
  • Drain the cicoria in a colander and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for a couple of seconds to release the aroma and flavour.
  • Add peperoncino and quickly stir for 2-3 seconds. Be careful as you don’t want peperoncino to burn out.
  • Add the cicoria and stir throughly to allow the greens infuse with the oil and garlic mixture.
  • Adjust with salt to taste and serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition
Serving: 1grams | Calories: 112kcal
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