Witloof chicory is convenient because you can lift the roots from early December and force a few roots at a time, providing a vegetable even when the ground is frozen.

Lift a few roots and cut the tops off leaving 2.5cm of growth above the rootstock. Place them in big pots with garden soil or compost in it so that the roots are proud. Either cover them so they are dark or store in a dark place at a cool temperature for 3-4 weeks and make sure the soil is kept moist. On each root a small white or light yellow head grows – chicons.

When harvesting it is best to cut into the rootstock to stop the chicon falling apart.