I found the most beautiful vegetable at the supermarket (see pictures - one has a 10" pumpkin for size comparison) and of course bought it, not knowing how to cook it or really what it was. I searched the Chow world and the internet for the three clues I had:
-according to the produce man, it's Italian
-it was labeled with some Italian or latinate variation of the word "dandelion"
-it was labeled with some Italian or latinate variation of the word "chicory"
I found NOTHING that looked like what I bought! Not a single picture or explanation!
Some of the offered specimens at the market had more dandelion leaves sprouting out of them did the small one I chose for experimentation - I tried to feature the dandelion leaf (as with the salad) in one of the pictures. The pretty cylinders with green tendrils are hollow tubes with walls about a quarter of an inch thick.
Can anyone help me identify this vegetable and, better yet, give me hints on how to use it? If no one responds I will have to resort to sautéing it in duck fat and pouring in chicken broth to deglaze as that's all I know how to do with something that weird looking :(