Chicory (cicoria in Italian) is one of my very favorite greens. It brings back memories of Angelina for whomcicoria and escarole were almost daily staples. Maybe that’s why she lived well into her 90s… A great weeknight dinner option, the recipe for this soup is very fast, very simple and very healthy. (If you omit the cheese at the end, it’s entirely vegan.)
Serves 4-6 people2 heads of chicory2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and slightly crushedOlive oil, preferably of the dark green ‘fruity’ kind200g (7 oz) of riceSalt and pepperGrated pecorino romano cheese for topping (optional)
You trim and cut up the chicory (or just the green parts–see Notes below) into smallish pieces, throw it into some well salted boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes or so.
You then transfer the chicory (use a slotted spoon, as you’ll need the “broth” for later) into a pan in which you will have sautéed the garlic in olive oil. Let the chicory insaporire—absorb the flavors of the seasoned oil—for a minute or two, then add a few ladlefuls of the chicory ‘broth’ until you have the quantity of soup you like.
Add rice and allow to simmer until the rice and chicory are tender. (If you have some cooked rice on hand, just add it at the very end, as when I made this soup, using some leftover white rice from a Chinese restaurant).
Serve in deep soup plates and top with pecorino cheese, freshly ground pepper and un filo d’olio–a drizzle of olive oil.
Via Mariano Pallottini