Skip to main content

Roast chicory, feta and orange blossom with sage pangrattato 

Chef Helen Graham, of Middle Eastern London restaurant Bubala, presents fresh ideas for a vibrant summery spread of exciting dishes bursting with bright colours and bold flavours

I am a big fan of bitter leaves and I especially love chicory for its versatility; it is equally delicious fresh or roasted. Orange blossom water is an ingredient you typically find in desserts, but I love to add it to savoury dishes, as it mellows bitter flavours beautifully.

Developing salads is probably my favourite thing to do because, for me, it is all about building layers of contrasts to create something delicious, At Bubala, we believe that any one item from our menu could be eaten in isolation and convey what we are about; playfulness, bold flavours and an element of surprise. Every component needs to make a statement, with punchy ingredients like pomegranate molasses and tamarind. This time of year is perfect to experiment with exciting dressings, to reawaken the palate and evoke the adventure of summer. Here, I am taking you on a journey from Yemen, through Japan, to Israel and Sri Lanka - the next best thing to jumping on a plane. 

MAY WE SUGGEST: The 50 best restaurants in London right now


Serves 6

For the chicory

6 heads chicory
2tbsp olive oil
1tsp Maldon flaked sea salt
1tbsp maple syrup

For the dressing

1 clove garlic, finely grated or chopped
50ml maple syrup
10ml orange blossom water
60ml sherry vinegar
200ml olive oil
½tsp Maldon flaked sea salt

For the pangrattato

2tbsp olive oil
8 sage leaves
50g panko breadcrumbs
Pinch Maldon flaked sea salt

To Serve

100g feta, finely crumbled
  1. Methods

    Step 1

    For the chicory, heat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/mark 6. Halve the chicory heads and place on a baking tray. Add 2tbsp olive oil, the flaked salt, 1tbsp maple syrup and a good grind of black pepper. Toss to coat the chicory all over. Roast for 30 minutes until golden, then set aside.

    Step 2

    For the dressing, whisk together the garlic, 50ml maple syrup, orange blossom water and sherry vinegar. Slowly whisk in 200ml olive oil, until fully incorporated, and season with ½tsp flaked salt.

    Step 3

    For the pangrattato, heat 2tbsp olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the sage and fry for a couple of minutes until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sage to a plate lined with kitchen towel. Add the panko breadcrumbs to the pan and toss in the oil, cooking for a few minutes until golden. Remove from the heat, tip the breadcrumbs into a bowl and season with a pinch of flaked salt. Crumble in the cooled fried sage.

    Step 4

    To serve, arrange the chicory on a serving platter, drizzle with the dressing and top with the crumbled feta. Finish by sprinkling over the pangrattato.