Sometimes the simplest vegetable side dishes are the best. Chicory has a subtle bitter flavour which is caramelised with brown sugar and vinegar in this quick and easy recipe. Serve with a family roast dinner or with a chargrilled steak.
Heat the oven to 220c/fan 200c/gas 7. Remove any brown or damaged leaves from the chicory, but do not trim the root too severely as this is what will hold the chicory together as it cooks.
Cut each head in half lengthways and then each half into 3 long pieces. Put on a nonstick oven tray. Don’t pack them too closely or double layer – they need room when cooking. Dot each piece generously with butter and sprinkle with sherry vinegar and brown sugar. Season.
Roast for 15 minutes until the chicory begins to soften and go brown at the edges. Turn the pieces over and cook in the oven for a further 10 minutes or until the chicory is meltingly tender and sweet.
Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve warm with duck, roast beef or sole.