Cicoria Ripassata

Recipe 10 minPreparation Time 15 minCooking Time
Cicoria Ripassata

Cicoria Ripassata

10 minPreparation Time 15 min Cooking Time

About this Recipe

This Roman classic transforms bitter field greens into a sublime tangle of verdant bliss. Ripassata means “passed again,” as in boiled first and then “passed” through a skillet on its way to the table. It’s downright alchemical what this two-stage cooking does to the ornery chicory, rounding its rough edges and coaxing out some extraordinary umami. The Romans use greens very similar to dandelions, but anything in that family, from escarole to radicchio, will work.

The Benefits

Bitter greens like dandelion and other chicories are potent sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin that are particularly beneficial to vision and eye health. Adding garlic and olive oil makes this a dish that’s as healthy as it is delicious.


Serves 4
  • 1 lb (450 g) chicory
  • 1 garlic clove (a fat one)
  • 2 T Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • More olive oil, for finishing


  1. Step 1
    Wash and separate the chicory into individual leaves. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the greens, stirring to immerse them in the water. Let the pot simmer, with some real activity at the surface, for at least 5 minutes. The greens should get quite soft, dark, and silky; this is not a quick blanch. When they hang off your spoon like seaweed, use a strainer to remove them to a colander or salad spinner. Spin or drain them well.
  2. Step 2
    If at this stage you want to chop the greens into smaller pieces, by all means do so. Some people like them long and rustic, while others prefer easier eating.
  3. Step 3
    Smash or slice the garlic. Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy pan. When it’s shimmering, add the greens and mop them around the pan, using a wooden spoon or tongs. Add the salt. Let the greens cook, stirring occasionally, for a few more minutes, catching some color from the pan, then add the garlic. Let the mixture go for a few more minutes, stirring to make sure none of the garlic burns, taste for salt and pepper, and move the greens to a serving bowl. Pour a generous glug of olive oil over the top and serve.

Substitutions: Sturdy greens like kale, dandelion, and collards also respond well to this method

Level Up: Forage dandelions instead of buying chicory

Try It With: it’s hard to beat this as a first course before pasta, or as a side dish (“contorno” in Italian) with just about anything