The Chicory Family

A few of our farmers are growing a lovely array of chicories, so I looked up a bit more info to share and found this great blog from the Whistling Train Farm in Washington state. She has some great information not just on chicories, but on a lot of the same goodies we see in our shares, so it's worth a look around there.

Chicories include escarole, endives and radicchio in many varieties, and according to Whistling Farm's blog, dandelion, though I have not been able to confirm that on any other website.


We're excited to get some curly endive for the shares this weekThese leafy greens in the chicory family add a sharp bitter character to salads, but mellow and sweeten up a bit when cooked. If you aren't a big fan of the bitter greens, I suggest cooking them to minimize the intensity. They are delicious braised slowly in a broth or caramelized with a high heat saute with onions and garlic (or green onions or garlic scapes). Adding a splash of balsamic vinegar and date syrup can make some magic happen--don't be afraid to experiment.

We've seen some great varieties in the past, and we're hoping to see some of them again in the coming season, including curly endive, esacarole, frisee and a variety of radicchio called Virtus or Sugarloaf, which has elongated heads that are pale green with a crisp pale yellow interior. They look similar to romaine but have a bitter-sweet radicchio flavor that’s nice in mixed salads.

A common suggestion for using chicory raw in salads is to pair it with salty cheese, fruit and nuts, and to use an assertive dressing with lemon juice or a strong vinegar, like balsamic. The Whistling Train blog has a number of recipes for salads and cooking suggestions for chickories, so check it out and enjoy!









Tip: How to Prepare and Eat Edamame

To prepare your edamame, rinse in a colander (don't worry about any rusty edges. Farmer Mary Ellen Raymond said the heat will turning them colors, but they taste great regardless) and boil in salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, drain and cool. Toss with more salt, if desired. Pop the beans out of the pod with your...Read more


Del Carmen has been a vendor for Fair Shares since 2009. We have developed a quality relationship based on trust. Our communications have been seamless. In addition, Fair Shares and its members have been great marketers for our products.  As a (very) small business, we are unable to advertise or market our products, so we have to rely on word of mouth.  Many of our customers are, were, or know Fair Shares members who have recommended our products.

Del Carmen has also benefitted from valuable ideas for use of existing products and suggestions in product development from the Fair Shares community.  I go to them for feedback, knowing I will get good, reliable and useful information.

We thank you, Fair Shares, for your support and commitment to del Carmen. We wish you much continued success.  After all, your success also helps the success of del Carmen and other local vendors and farmers.

Estie Cruz-Curoe, del Carmen Beans, St. Louis, MO