A plate of sautéed chicories with chile oil.

Last April, I discovered a recipe for sautéed chicories in Food and Wine. It calls for quickly sautéing Belgian endive and radicchio in olive oil with garlic, then dressing the barely wilted greens with vinegar and, if you wish, a drizzle of chile oil.

It’s a classic combination for good reason: it works. The bitterness of the chicories softens under the heat of the pan and is further tempered by the sweet-sharp balsamic vinegar; the subtle kick from the chile oil adds another dimension and balance of flavor.

Its deliciousness should be no surprise, but still, I found myself taken by this dish, by its simplicity. I love the contrast of textures, how the radicchio melts while the endive remains crisp, caramelizing ever so slightly at the edges.

I also love how quickly it comes together. The prep is minimal — cutting chicories feels like a walk in the park after months of hacking away at roots — as is the cook time: the roughly chopped endive and radicchio sauté in batches for no more than a minute at a time.

Last year, this sauté entered my life at no better time, when spring and all of its gems feel like a myth, when the markets, in upstate New York at least, mostly still reflect a January landscape. This year, I’m introducing it into the rotation earlier.

I hope you find it as bright and refreshing as I, a most welcomed addition to the winter vegetable repertoire.

Belgian Endive, radicchio, and garlic on a cutting board.
Here’s the play-by-play: Gather your chicories of choice. I like using radicchio and Belgian endive.
chopped radicchio and endive
Give them a rough chop.
A sauté pan with olive oil, garlic, endive and radicchio.
Sauté them in batches briefly — about a minute per batch — with olive, garlic, and salt.
A large bowl of sautéed chicories with chile oil.
Transfer to a large serving bowl and dress with white balsamic (or other) vinegar to taste.
A large bowl of sautéed chicories with garlic, balsamic, and chile oil.
Drizzle with some chile oil, if you wish, or …
A plate of sautéed chicories with chile oil.
… pass the chile oil on the side.
A plate of sautéed chicories with chile oil.
So good.
A bowl of sautéed chicories.
Pretty, too.