In Belgium, where the chicory actually comes from, the Dutch-speaking call the vegetable “witlof” (white foliage). So be sure to prepare this dish “with love”! It’s a tempting combination of bitter and sweet, just as love sometimes is… Once an Italian friend cooked it as a side dish – back then she used the more familiar white chicory. A while ago I came across those red beauties and of course I fell in love immediately… —TableTales
Cut the chicory in half lengthwise and rinse under running cold water. Set aside on a plate.
If you prefer, cut out the stalk wedge-shaped – it is not absolutely necessary, though the vegetables will lose some bitterness, but also vitamins.
Caramelize (melt) the icing sugar slowly in a shallow pan on medium heat.
Once the sugar is completely caramelized, add the butter, connect with the sugar and immediately put the wet chicory halves cut side down in to the pan. Let them take color for about 10 minutes. Turn vegetables carefully, season with salt and pepper and let simmer for a further 20-30 minutes till soft, the pan at half shut covered. During the process you can add a bit water if the sugar boils down to very little.
Put on a plate, drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and serve with love as an appetizer, entree or side dish for meat or chicken.