Good enough to eat - chicory

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Chicory has become increasingly popular as a winter salad leaf and adds a sharp taste to any green ensemble as it’s slightly more bitter than lettuce.

It’s normally harvested from summer to autumn but if you force chicory you can have fresh leaves in winter, too.

Lift the roots grown for forcing, taking three or four roots, trimming the leaves just above the crown and the roots at the bottom, so they will fit into a 20-25cm (8-10in) pot of garden soil with the crowns just visible.

Cover the roots with a pot of the same size but with holes blacked out. Keep the whole thing slightly moist in an airing cupboard. In three to four weeks, the heads of the blanched leaves should be ready to eat.