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No place in my area sells chicory (the lettuce)

I'm in a far-flung area of NYC but can't find a source (I want it for an exotic pesto dish). Not the supermarkets, not the farmer's market, not the local greengrocer. I find this kind of extraordinary. You can easily get escarole, Boston, romaine, iceberg, arugula, and the more exotic baby greens, but not chicory. Not even the Dean & Deluca on Broadway in NYC had it.

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  1. Have you tried Eataly? Or the Manhattan Fruit Exchange at Chelsea Market?

    Come to NJ. The Shop Rite in Hoboken sells it. In fact, it's pretty common in many supermarkets in NJ.

    1. It goes by various names, including "curly endive". You could use frisee instead. It's virtually identical to the paler, lacier leaves at the heart of a head of chicory.

      1. I don't know about in New York, but if I were to ask for chicory where I live, most markets would not know what I'm talking about. It's called endive in my area and readily available.

        http://endive.com/how-to-pronounce-en...

        1. Many chefs use chicory as a more general term, referring to various escaroles and radicchios. Maybe you can find something close enough to the recipe's intended flavor?

          http://whistlingtrainfarm.com/the-chi...

          1. Markets don't like to stock perishables they aren't positive will sell.... There can be huge variations in supermarket inventory (and prices) in manhattan just neighborhood to neighborhood.
            Don't ask for chicory, just show a picture of it from google images to someone who works in produce when shopping.

            Fairway on 30th st and 2nd ave had it this weekend

            1. It can be found at all the Italian and Greek markets here in Flushing/Whitestone and Astoria. We add it to minestrones or boil it and dress it with olive oil and lemon.

              6 Replies
              1. re: ZenFoodist

                I still see the old timers picking the wild chicory on the side of the Cross Island by Utopia Pkwy Zen Foodist!
                My German grandmother used to make a chicory salad with bacon, onion & hard boiled egg. She would pour some of the hot bacon drippings over the salad to soften the bitterness of the chicory..

                1. re: johnk

                  I run by there 4 or 5 times a week. I'll have to check it out.
                  Otherwise virtually every market in Northeast Queens has chicory including the Korean ones.

                  1. re: wolmania

                    Oh, I am in Staten Island, so Queens would be a trek. Might try the Manhattan Fairway mentioned by Ttrockwood. Or the Union Sq. Greenmarket one of these days. Or maybe I'll substitute some other bitter green for the chicory.

                    1. re: comestible

                      I was actually going to suggest Trade Fair which always has it, until you said you're in Staten Island. I'd agree with Zen Foodist that any market that serves Italians or Greeks will have it also.

                      1. re: comestible

                        Check out Gerardi's on Richmond Terrace, I've definitely bought it there. Did you check Top Tomato? They have several locations on the Island and usually a pretty good produce selection.

                        In Brooklyn I'd tell you to check the Cherry Hill market, there's a few, I go to the one on 86th street occasionally. Also Three Guys From Brooklyn on Fort Hamilton Parkway.

                        1. re: CMB_NYC84

                          Thanks, but I've checked Gerardi's and the Top Tomato in Rosebank. Also St. George Greenmarket, Waldbaums Rosebank, Key Food on Bay and on Forest. I think I'm obsessing too much...but haven't been further afield (mid-island, south shore).

                          There are bigger crises in life...

                2. Unless you are totally committed to finding the precise item I suggest you consider subbing one of the other chicories - escarole, radicchio or belgian endive which are available. They have the same bitter flavor. You would want to consider whetherthey should be chopped or sliced since escarole, particular with its big leaves can get floppy and soggy once cooked.

                  If you see frisee, thats a stylish and expensive form of chicory -you can buy it too.

                  Good luck and hope you report back on what you did.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: jen kalb

                    "escarole, radicchio or belgian endive" as a substitue for chicory?
                    Chioggia or treviso radicchio ... w/ or w/o grilling?

                    1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                      these are all variant forms of chicory - if the OP is shopping ins staten island would be unlikely to find any radicchio other than the chioggia (round red) form. I only very rarely see the treviso here and it is not in the elongated and twisty form Ive seen in Venice - it just looks like a red form of belgian endive.

                      I dont know what technique would be used in OP's recipe. I dont think I would want to grill the large floppy leaves of escarole, though.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endive

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        "Not even the Dean & Deluca on Broadway in NYC had it"
                        But it was up in the Bronx market a bit earlier this year; and locally grown no less.
                        You do want the young tender leaves.

                        As you are clearly aware, Treviso requires more than field cultivation to prodice tight heads.
                        But, catch as catch can, the thought of charring a split, tight head for an "exotic" pesto intrigues.

                        (This may, however, just easily go brown)

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          Just to clarify ...
                          When I said local, I did mean local ...
                          this was grown in the Bronx.

                          And trust me, I was early morn'n pick'n w/ the nonas.

                          1. re: jen kalb

                            Actually, these weren't even 'cultivated'.
                            They 'naturalized' ... along the Bronx river.

                      2. With all the Italian families out there on Staten Island, there's no friggin' "cicoria ricci" ?? Curly endive is sourced from New Jersey right next door. There's got to be some available somewhere nearby.

                         
                        16 Replies
                        1. re: Cheese Boy

                          yea its a common grocery store item. should be in any big cheap supermarket next to the escarole - it certainly is here in downtown Brooklyn. Maybe OP is having the problem Melanie suggests upthread - lots of people call this endive and supermarkets may label it that way instead of as "chicory" . Maybe OP can give more info about the recipe and its source?

                          1. re: jen kalb

                            Well, it's not a question of a supermarket mislabeling anything. If it's there, I'll know it when I see it, even if mislabeled.

                            It's for a rather pesto-like sauce for pasta. A head of chicory, cut up and briefly blanched, then whirled in the food processor with almonds and a few other ingredients.

                            Yes, lots of Italian folks out here; it's curious that I don't see this vegetable. But I haven't been all over the Island, just the places closest to me.

                            1. re: comestible

                              I've swapped pine nuts w/ walnuts
                              (although I'm making good use of my CostCo hoard w/ all this basil ... sweet summer),
                              but your mention of almonds drew me toward Spain.
                              Roden mentions a flat-leaf parsley "sauce" w/ artichokes .. (/w pasta, could work)

                              Are you targeting a recipe or improvising?

                              1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                                Well, I bit the bullet and made this recipe yesterday. I ended up buying a pound of frisee at Dean & DeLuca.

                                It's from the book Pasta Modern by Frances Segal, and I won't print the recipe but the general ingredients are:

                                blanched almonds
                                olive oil
                                lemon juice/zest
                                head of chicory
                                1 lb. short pasta
                                salt/pepper
                                fresh ricotta as garnish

                                It was delicious! I used orecchiete. I'll definitely make it again.

                                1. re: comestible

                                  Sounds delicious. You won't print the recipe because you don't want to share or because you don't want to type it up (which I don't blame you for; I hate doing that)? Is there an online link to it?

                                  1. re: Multifoiled

                                    The only reason I don't want to print the whole recipe is that the book is undoubtedly copyrighted, and I assume Chow's policy is not to allow reprinting without permission.

                                    1. re: comestible

                                      Yes, just read the CH FAQs and it is against house rules. I thought maybe if you posted the source with the recipe it would be OK, but it's not. Thanks!

                                      1. re: Multifoiled

                                        Whoops, I made mistakes in both the author's first and last names. It's Pasta Modern by Francine Segan.

                                      2. re: comestible

                                        its not agains t site policy to give the ingredients and describe theprocess of the recipe - a copyright issue only arises if you give the exact words of the recipe text - the formula is not I believe copyrightable.

                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                          Here is specifically what the policy in the FAQ states. While a link if available is preferred you can do the following.

                                          "If there isn't an official source you can link to, it's still not okay to repost a recipe verbatim. You can post the ingredients list, but please put the instructions in your own words rather than copying them and note that you've done that in your post."

                                          1. re: jen kalb

                                            I just found a link to the recipe from Google Books. Is that a source that's permitted?

                                              1. re: jen kalb

                                                Link:

                                                http://books.google.com/books?id=Vc58...

                                                And I do recommend buying the book! I've done a few of the other recipes in it.

                                                1. re: comestible

                                                  That sounds delicious; just my kind of pasta sauce. Perfetto! Grazie!

                                                  Now that I see the recipe, you could substutute just about any leafy green. Great base recipe to have. I will definitely look for this book. Thanks again.

                                                  1. re: Multifoiled

                                                    There's another recipe in there for a light FRESH MARJORAM pesto that is so delightful and inspired. It was a revelation to me.

                                    2. re: comestible

                                      Sounds light and refreshing ... finish w/ ricotta, nice.
                                      I never follow the 'recipes' on pesto, especially regarding parm ... I always ease up here.
                                      A goat/sheep ricotta could add a tart note over that frisee.

                                      And how is that marjoram used?
                                      ... I'm growing quite a bit and it usually finds a way into egg or chicken dishes.

                            2. Hmm, I can get chicory pretty easily in Queens. They have it at Berry Fresh Farm, for example. It's frisée that's fairly elusive.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: saria

                                Berry Fresh Farm in Astoria is a lot of fun. Love that store.

                                1. re: Cheese Boy

                                  Yes, and they have great prices! Things like low-moisture mozzarella are a whole $2 cheaper than the overpriced Trade Fair nearby (which is more expensive than the 30th avenue Trade Fair for pretty much everything).