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A type of chicory common in Tuscany, Italy where the Cappuccino monks began growing this vegetable green which ultimately became named for their efforts in raising it. With a short season lasting for only five weeks or so, Monk's Beard develops into a thin leafy green with a long white stem. Moist and succulent in texture, the thick stem and leaves provide a nice addition to fresh salads, food garnishes or side dishes of vegetable greens. If cooked to be served as a side dish, the Monk's Beard is lightly steamed after which it is mixed with a light coating of olive oil and lemon juice.
Its season is only about five weeks long. It is best when prepared by lightly steaming and serving with olive oil and lemon.