Sautéed Chicories with Chile Oil

Chicories like escarole, frisee, endive, and radicchio can be bitter, but balanced with chile oil, salt, white wine vinegar, and garlic, they become a satisfying side dish for an early spring dinner.

Sauteed Chicories with Chile Oil
Photo: Greg Dupree
Total Time:
16 mins
6 servings

Drizzle leftover chile oil over salad or pasta for an extra kick of flavor. Whole dried cayenne peppers are available online and at Latin supermarkets.


Chile Oil

  • 6 dried cayenne chiles

  • 1 cup olive oil

Sautéed Chicories

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 pound mixed chicories (such as escarole, frisée, Belgian endive, and Treviso), trimmed and cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces (about 12 cups), divided

  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed, divided

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar


Make the chile oil

  1. Place chiles in a small saucepan, and cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add oil, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chiles are dark red and stop popping, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Store chile oil in an airtight glass container in refrigerator up to 5 days.

Make the sautéed chicories

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add one-third of the chicories (about 4 cups) and 1 garlic clove, and cook, undisturbed, 30 seconds. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook, tossing often, until slightly wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat 2 more times with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining chicories, remaining 2 garlic cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gently toss chicories with vinegar and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a serving platter, and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the chile oil, or more to taste. Serve immediately.

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