Chicory is one of the ultimate winter salad vegetables adding bitterness and crunch to salads but also taking well to being braised or grilled. But how do you ensure you can enjoy chicory all year long?
Can You Freeze Chicory?
Yes, you can freeze chicory for up to 3 months. Cut it into halves or quarters before briefly blanching it. Once blanched, it can be stored in freezer bags in the freezer.
Does Chicory Freeze Well? Sometimes
Can You Refreeze Chicory? No
How to Freeze Chicory
In order to have perfectly frozen chicory, there are a few vital steps you’ll want to take along the way to prevent it from going horribly wrong. Here’s our simple 5-step guide to freezing chicory:
- Prepare the Chicory: Remove any dodgy, browning leaves from the outside of each chicory, give them a quick clean to remove any visible dirt and then slice them into halves or quarters.
- Blanch for 90 Seconds: Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and submerge each chicory piece in the water for a maximum of 90 seconds, then immediately submerge it in ice-cold water for another 60 seconds.
- Pat Dry: Drain the chicory from the water and then pat dry with kitchen towel to remove any excess water. A little is fine, but you don’t want pools of water on the chicory.
- Bag Up: Place the chicory into a thick, good-quality freezer bag that you have labelled with the contents and the date. Seal the bag up, ensuring as much air is removed as possible.
- Freeze: Place the bag of chicory into the freezer. You now have a supply of chicory, ready-to-go in the freezer.
3 Tips for Freezing Chicory
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing chicory to have the best results:
Cook It From Frozen
The good news is that you can cook chicory directly from frozen. Bring a pot of water to the boil and dunk your frozen chicory in for 3 to 4 minutes until thawed and cooked through. Serve with a knob of butter or a sauce.
Don’t Use in Salads
Unfortunately, like most salad items, chicory will no longer be suitable to use in a raw, cold salad as the leaves will have softened up too much.
Blanch It Before Freezing It
By blanching it beforehand, you will ensure the chicory retains as much of its colour, taste and nutrients by the time you thaw and eat it.
How Long Can You Freeze Chicory?
We would recommend freezing chicory for no longer than 3 months, beyond this time, the texture is likely to have changed so much that it’ll become very soft and mushy when you go to eat it.
The sooner you can use it up, the better.
Chicory can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week before it begins to lose its texture and the leaves turn limp.
How Do You Defrost Chicory?
Fortunately, one of the benefits of frozen chicory is that you don’t need to defrost it. Take a half from the freezer and submerge it in boiling water for 3 minutes or so until it has thawed and cooked through.
If you do want to thaw it beforehand, you can do so by placing it on a plate in the fridge, leaving it to thaw slowly overnight.
Can You Refreeze Chicory?
No, you cannot refreeze chicory. Chicory will already have major issues with texture when it is frozen once.
If you were to refreeze it, you’ll only make the problem more noticeable rendering the chicory nearly inedible.
Does Chicory Freeze Well?
Chicory is far from one of the best food items you can freeze. Its texture will be ruined and its flavour is likely to degrade. You can prevent some of this with a quick blanch but it’s never going to be perfect.
However, if the alternative is to throw it out then there’s no harm in freezing it, especially if you’re going to use it in a cooked dish.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing chicory or chicory in general, then these may help:
Yes, you can freeze cooked chicory but you should expect a dramatic change in the texture when you come to reheating it. Instead, freeze it blanched and then cook it from frozen in a matter of minutes.
Although it’s likely to be possible, the shelf life of chicory coffee is incredibly lengthy so there’s no point in using up valuable space in the freezer for it.