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Pan di Zucchero Chicory

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Pan di Zucchero Chicory

Pan di Zucchero Chicory is a vegetable of the chicory family and lettuce. It is a typical winter vegetable, thanks to its particular resistance to frost. The only delicate part is the tip, where softer leaves burn due to frost. The plant owes its name to its conical shape of the head which reminds precisely Pan di Zucchero Chicory.

This vegetable ripens a month and a half after planting: if planted in late summer, its tender leaves can be enjoyed at the table starting from the month of October. Its scent, especially if fresh and freshly picked from the garden, is intense and very pleasant. But even more is its bitter and decisive taste, enhanced and refined by cooking.


Of course, you can think of consuming it raw, perhaps in a salad with oranges and dried fruit, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. However, it is advised to try it as a light and tasty side dish, as a filling for a savory pie or even as a dressing for an unusual first course.



It is a nutrient-rich vegetable that grows abundantly in autumn and winter when other fresh vegetables are in short supply. The consumption of foods with a bitter taste stimulates appetite and digestion. It can be eaten raw or cooked.

Pan di Zucchero Chicory has a large, elongated head (35-40 cm), tapered with a white inner lump, so-called for being sweet and crunchy. The average weight is 0.8-1.2 kg with a density of 8-9 plants / m2. In the kitchen, raw leaves are eaten for healthy and genuine salads, for vegetarian or grilled dishes. It contains a good amount of minerals, especially calcium and iron.

Pan di Zucchero Chicory contains many mineral substances ( potassium, phosphorus, and calcium ), provitamin A and vitamins B1, B2, and C effective in preventing tumors. It also contains inulin, a bitter dietary fiber that appears to have a positive effect on human digestion.


How to eat Pan di Zucchero Chicory

Flesh leaves of Pan di Zucchero Chicory are slightly bitter, and therefore can be eaten by cutting them finely as a base for creative salads, perhaps with goat cheese and croutons or with tuna and olives. Or cooked then boiled and seasoned with oil and lemon.


How to cook Pan di Zucchero Chicory in a pan

Wash them well, leaf by leaf, under running water, then dry them and finally cut them into pieces. Flavor the cooking oil already in a pan: four spoons will be enough, which you can choose to flavor with a knob of butter, garlic, and chili or simply with salt and pepper.

The recipe is very simple, but the secret lies in the combination of this vegetable with anchovies (or anchovies): sauté some fillets on low heat until they melt completely.

Then add your previously cut Pan di Zucchero Chicory and cook over low heat for about a quarter of an hour. For the last few minutes of cooking, remove the lid so that the excess water evaporates.

If you like, add a drop of white wine or apple cider vinegar. Let it blend and serve, both hot and slightly warm.


Sample recipe


Pan di Zucchero Chicory with olives and anchovies

This cooked salad is very good. It is prepared with accompaniments: anchovies and olives. This preparation can also be used to make a stuffed cake. It can also be an excellent condiment for pasta, perhaps with the addition of fresh chili. 



  • Pan di Zucchero Chicory

  • 1 small shallot or white onion

  • 3 tablespoons of pitted or Taggiasca or Greek black olives

  • 8 anchovies

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • salt

  • pepper



  • Start by washing Pan di Zucchero Chicory and cut it into strips. Wash and dry it.

  • Chop the shallot or onion with a knife and brown them in a pan with extra virgin olive oil. Add half of the anchovies so that they melt.

  • Add the sugar pan chicory, mix well and cook for a few minutes with the lid. When it is slightly stewed, add the olives and remove the lid.

  • If necessary, season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the chicory is cooked. It is good when still slightly crunchy.

  • Before turning off add the remaining anchovies into pieces. I add them at the end so that they remain consistent.

  • Serve hot.

The name means ‘sugar loaf’ in Italian. If you associate chicory with bitterness, heirloom Pan di Zucchero will surprise you. Stood out from the four dozen others in chicory expert Lucie Arbuthnot’s fields and was delicious in her kitchen. Its 1' tall large tight light green leaves are shaped like a romaine lettuce crossed with a napa cabbage. High yielding, best as a fall crop. Will store well for three months and survive for four if you wrap it tightly in slightly damp newspaper and keep it just above freezing.

1 pound (454 gram)

Ingredients: Pan di Zucchero

Packaging: Plastic Wrap

Product of Italy


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Pan di Zucchero Chicory