With its tall stature and clusters of bright blue flowers, chicory makes a beautiful garden plant. Treviso chicory is also delicious to eat (if you sow from July to September for harvesting the leaves in winter). Treviso is in the Veneto region, which has the coldest winters in Italy, and these cold-hardy radicchios need the cold to mature and sweeten them. Try Carabinieri a Cavolo, or policemen on horseback. Put mozzarella and Parma ham on the harvested radicchio heart and grill until the ham curls up like the brim of a policemans cap. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with bread.
Perennial (often grown as an annual).Tasty leaves to eat in year one or flowers to admire in year two. Sow seed in seed compost in little modules in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill. Plant out when large enough to handle. Alternatively sow straight into the garden in weeded, dug, fertile ground 1cm deep, thinning to 30cm apart, in a sunny spot from late spring to early summer.
Partnership plant: Carrot, Bean, Fennel, Lettuce, Pepper,
What to sow after: Cauliflower, Cabbage, Cucumber, Bean,
Aubergine, Melon, Pepper, Pea, Tomato, Radish, Courgette.