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From the book, Honey from a Weed

Wild chicory (succory) goes by a number of names.

The ways of cooking weeds are simple; the trouble is in cleaning them. Gathering the chicory with a stub of root in autumn or in spring, you scrape the root stubs with a knife, pick off old or yellowing leaves, and, plant by plant, throw them into a crock of rainwater. Change the water at least twice. Leave them in water till next day.

The Simple Way. Drain and rinse again the prepared chicory, and throw it into a cauldron of slightly salted boiling water. Cook for 20 minutes and strain. Serve hot with oil and lemon juice, the purest way. Or dress with olive oil and grated pecorino sardo.

Another Way. Clean and cook as above, strain and throw the chicory wet into a pan containing a little hot olive oil (or pure pork fat) with two cloves of peeled garlic and one hot chili pepper. Toss them in the oil or pork fat and serve, adding a few drops of wine vinegar.

For Feast Days. In the Salento in autumn, chicory is served with collar of pork. The pork, rather fat, is boiled with bayleaves, then cut into robust chunks and put into the pan to render some fat. When slightly browned, the pork is set on a heated dish and the cicuredda, already boiled, is tossed in the fat and served on a separate dish with slices of lemon.

Another Way. A more refined dish emerges if you cut a slice of pancetta (salt belly of pork, fat and lean) into neat small strips, brown them in a pan, then add the boiled chicory and toss it for a few minutes in the fat, then add a few drops of wine vinegar.

These simple preparations apply to many weeds, when not destined for salad.