Nigella Lawson Cooks This Bitter Side Dish Every Week

When Nigella Lawson wrote the "How To Eat" cookbook more than 20 years ago, she blended precise techniques with eloquent descriptions that implored cooks to make recipe after recipe. Lawson herself described the purpose of cooking as "the simple desire to make yourself something to eat," according to her website, and The Guardian cited her book's "exuberant essays about the joys of eating" as one of the reasons why Lawson is one of 10 cooks who has changed how people eat.

In "How To Eat" and her other numerous cookbooks, Lawson has implored home cooks to follow their instincts, trust their palates, and develop a passion for food. Although culinary trends might ebb and flow, her recipes are more than just a simple list of how-tos: Each of her ideas sets the table with a flurry of phrases that captures the profound feeling of eating beyond the savoring. Even her recent words about a favorite side dish captivate just as strongly as the flavor of the pungent vegetable burns. They just might convince you that bitterness deserves a moment at the table at least once a week.

Why Lawson comes back to this bitter dish time and again

In a recent "Recipe of the Day" tweet, Lawson shared that she makes roasted red chicory roughly twice a week. According to Allrecipes, red chicory is a type of green related to endive, escarole, and radicchio. Its bitter quality and underlying sweetness make it tasty cooked, raw, and in salads. Lawson's method, available on her website, involves roasting the vegetable with olive oil, salt, and dry white vermouth.

As usual, Lawson's elegant words spark interest in her roast red chicory recipe. If you're skeptical about trying the pungent ingredient, her language will mellow your uncertainty just as roasting the chicory with vermouth tempers its bitterness, she says. The combination of flavors — strong chicory, acidic and sweet alcohol, and fragrant thyme — seems to offer a touch of yin and yang. Whether served warm from the oven or chilled in a salad, as the star of the table or a side to a hearty stew, it appears that this recipe hits all the right notes. Since it's ready in less than an hour and good for five days in the fridge, it's clear why Lawson wants this simple yet bold dish multiple times a week.