Discover the hidden treasures of chicory – a vegetable that is not only surprising in its cultivation process but also in its rich history and nutritional value.

Grown in darkness, chicory forms an intriguing spectacle of agricultural art. The roots are nurtured outside before being moved indoors, where they thrive in darkness. This process of ‘forcing’ leads to the characteristic pale, crunchy chicory heads that we know and cherish.

Did you know that chicory originated in the heart of Belgium? It was first cultivated in the 19th century when a farmer discovered by chance that chicory could thrive from roots he had stored in his cellar. Since then, chicory has carved out a special place in Belgian culinary tradition and beyond.


But there’s more than just its history. Chicory is a powerful source of nutrients. It’s packed with fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, and minerals such as potassium and manganese. Adding chicory to your diet can help promote healthy digestion and improve overall health.

Some Delicious Recipes

Chicory with pepper cheese and ham from the oven

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 8 heads of chicory
  • 120g pepper cheese
  • 15ml cream
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 slices of ham
  • 500g floury potatoes
  • 60g grated cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Clean the chicory, halve, and remove the bitter part. Cook them for 10 minutes and drain well. Wrap a slice of ham around each one.
  2. Place the chicory heads in an oiled ovenproof dish. Mix the pepper cheese with the cream and pour over the heads, season with salt and pepper. Bake the dish for 25 minutes in the preheated oven.
  3. Peel the potatoes, cook until tender, and drain. Sprinkle with freshly chopped curly parsley and serve with the chicory.


Recipe from Libelle:

Ardennes pork fillet with chicory mash and wild mushrooms

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 1 Ardennes pork fillet
  • 200g wild mushrooms
  • 4 heads of chicory
  • 0.5 bunch of chives
  • 600g potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Nutmeg, pepper & salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut into equal pieces. Cook them for 20 minutes in lightly salted water. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, melt half of the butter in a frying pan and brown the pork fillet on all sides. Season with pepper and salt. Place in an ovenproof dish and bake for another 20 minutes in the preheated oven.
  4. Remove the hard core from the chicory and slice the rest into thin strips. Finely chop the onions, garlic, and chives.
  5. Melt the remaining butter in a pan and sauté the chicory for 10 minutes. Season with pepper, salt, and nutmeg. Mash the potatoes and add the chicory.
  6. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in the pan used for the meat and sauté the onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the frozen wild mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes over high heat. Season with pepper and salt and mix in the chives.
  7. Slice the meat and serve with the mash and mushrooms. Finish with a bit of gravy from the oven dish.


Recipe from Colruyt: Recept voor Ardens varkenshaasje met witloofpuree en bospaddenstoelen | Colruyt Lekker Koken