Chicory salad Witluf
While working on material about this plant, I was surprised at how easy and pleasant it is in my soul. He began to look for the reason for this circumstance, apparently, because which of us is not subject to such weakness? Remember, at Tolstoy in “War and Peace”: there are two men standing and looking at a train running past them along the steppe. "What force drives a steam locomotive?" - one man asks another. The latter thought, it seems, thoughtfully scratched his accessible parts of the body and answered with satisfaction for himself: "Damn the locomotive." And both were very pleased because they found the reason for the movement of the engine. So am I with my cyclic salad, looking for the reason for the splendor of my soul in it.
Firstly, this salad is a kind of ordinary chicory, familiar to me from rural childhood. We called it a blue flower, growing in abundance on the steppe open spaces of the Prikhaper Territory. And only one of us, Volodya, who was our leader because of our strength, dexterity and life experience, called him, as we thought, scientifically - “cycloren”. And we all trembled before his erudition.
Secondly, now for several years now chicory has found a permanent residence permit in my house: my wife consumes instant chicory instead of natural coffee (Brazilian, Nicaraguan, Cuban, etc.), being convinced that chicory coffee is more healthy . But for me, my wife’s rational addictions are a sacred affair. Although, having lived a couple of years in one of the tropical countries where real coffee is his homeland, she could have loved him and preferred only him.
Thirdly, the cyclic salad seemed to me an unusual plant also because all its parts can be used - as they say, and roots and tips. Roots (tubers) are used to make coffee, and the tops obtained by distillation from root crops in the winter are used to prepare very healthy salads and various side dishes for main dishes.
And, finally, fourthly, this vegetable is quite effective in its productivity. Connoisseurs gardeners argue that the yield of witloof goats obtained by distillation is up to 15 kg per sq. meters (root crops for distillation planted in boxes closely). And in the garden from one square. meters get up to 35 pcs. root crops, or up to 4.5 kg. It should be borne in mind that for distillation it is best to use medium-sized root crops (3-5 cm in diameter), and use small roots for making coffee. To do this, they are cut into thin circles, dried in the oven, and then used to make a coffee drink.
Other useful properties of Witloof worried me to a lesser degree, apparently because almost all edible vegetables were healthy and very useful to people. So with Vitlouf: its healing properties - intibin glycoside, which is found in Vitlouf cabbage, helps improve the functioning of the digestive organs, improves metabolism, has a beneficial effect on the liver, kidneys, pancreas, blood-forming organs, cardiovascular and central nervous systems.
Goabies contain proteins, fats, carbohydrates, mineral salts of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, sodium and iron. Easily digestible inulin accounts for up to 20% of the total amount of carbohydrates, which upon splitting gives a second valuable substance - fructose. It is especially useful for people with diabetes.
Biological features of Witloof
This is a perennial plant cultivated in the culture as a biennial. In the first year, a rosette of large leaves and root crops grow from the seeds, which are used to distill the bowls used for food. In the second year, a upright branched stem up to 1.5 m tall grows from the root crop. The stem leaves are small, lanceolate. The flowers are small, blue (less often - white), collected in inflorescences-baskets, located singly or crowded at the ends of branches or in the axils of the leaves. Fruit - achene ribbed, brown, 2-3 mm long. Varieties of Witloof, recommended for driving cabbage heads and getting fresh salad products.
- "Cone" (domestic variety) - for distillation in insulated rooms without light, both with cover and without soil substrate, in December-January. The period from mass seedlings to technical ripeness is 98-114 days. The period of distillation (from planting root crops to mass ripeness of heads of cabbage) is 17-30 days. The root crop is white, with a diameter of 35 mm, a length of 15-20 cm. The head is ellipsoidal, the pulp is white, juicy. A constant temperature is recommended for distillation not lower than 7 ° С and not higher than 16 ° С. Harvesting heads should be carried out when the head reaches a height of not more than 15 cm.
- "Rocket" (domestic variety) - the period from seedlings to the technical ripeness of root crops 130-155 days. The root crop is elongated-conical, white, weighing up to 250 g. The forcing period is 30 days. The head of cabbage is elongated in ovoid shape, dense, 12 cm high, 5 cm in diameter. The head of the head is white, weight 85-100 g.
- Foreign varieties: "Extrella" (for early distillation); “Witluf Danish” and “Mitado” (for autumn-winter); “Tardivo” (for later), as well as “Express”, “Productive”, “Blanca”. So, my friends, there is plenty to choose from and to experiment with.
Vitlouf is considered a cold-resistant plant: the roots of some varieties left for the winter withstand frosts down to minus 30 degrees. He loves moisture and especially needs increased soil moisture during the formation of root crops. Soils having a neutral reaction are preferable; Witloof is poorly developed on acidic soils. With a lack of potassium component in fertilizers, Witloof quickly shoots, and its greens coarsen and dries out. In addition, when fresh manure is introduced into the soil, root crops strongly branch and acquire a non-marketable appearance.
It is not recommended to grow vitlouf after salad, carrots, parsley, potatoes, tomatoes, and cucumbers, cabbage and legumes are considered the best predecessors for it. When growing by direct sowing of seeds in the soil, it is recommended that the soil warms up to 7-9 degrees. C, which happens usually, depending on the region of cultivation, in the second half of May - early June. Seeding depth is 1-1.5 cm. The distance between plants after thinning is 10-15 cm.
Care for the Belgian Endive consists of regular watering, cultivating row-spacing and top dressing. During the growing season, it is recommended to carry out one or two dressings with complex fertilizers. It should be remembered that with waterlogging of the soil and high humidity, lettuce can easily be affected by powdery mildew, rot, so it is better to water it in the morning, avoiding water getting on the leaves.
However, with a lack of water, the leaves do not reach normal sizes, coarsen, become bitter. In hot, dry weather and with a lack of light, the plant quickly forms peduncles. The optimum temperature for its growth is considered plus 10-17 ° C. Root crops can winter in the soil under or without shelter, depending on the cultivated variety and cultivation area.
Harvesting of Witloof is carried out in September (in dry weather, before the onset of frost). For distillation, root crops should be put aside without peduncles and without horizontal rosettes of leaves. The latter is recommended to be used as salad greens. To remove the bitterness from the leaves, they are placed in boiling water for 1 minute or soaked in salted water for 2-3 hours. In dug root crops, the tops are cut at a distance of 2-3 cm from the head without damaging the apical kidneys.
Root crops are sorted into small (diameter up to 3 cm), medium (3-5 cm) and large (over 5 cm). Root crops can be stored (for distillation) like carrots, horizontally stacked in boxes, sprinkled with dry sand, peat or sawdust, leaving the top open for ventilation. Prior to distillation, root crops are stored at a temperature of 2-3 ° C with a relative humidity of 95% and good ventilation, which will then accelerate the formation of shoots during distillation.
Distillation and whitening of witloof gobbles is carried out in the dark. The easiest process: cover the box in which the tubers are placed closely with a lightproof cloth and keep them at a temperature of 8-10 ° C in a suitable room. The temperature mode of distillation is very important, because at a temperature of 15-17 ° C, the gobies retain their inherent bitterness, but even at 8-10 ° C they become sweetish, with almost imperceptible bitterness.
After the appearance of cabbage heads, about a month later they are cut off with part of the stem so that they do not scatter and store in the refrigerator, where they retain their taste and marketability for up to 3 weeks. This process can be carried out in a different way. After harvesting the tubers, they are dug up in boxes placed in a greenhouse, greenhouse, underground, cellar. Tubers are placed close to each other, watered and covered on top with about 25 cm of wet sand, earth, peat or sawdust, or covered with a film.
The first 7-10 days, the temperature of the soil and air is maintained at 10 ° C, then increased to 16-18 ° C. After 25-30 days, when the cabbage heads reach the surface of the layer covering them and acquire a marketable and attractive appearance, the crop, which is very useful especially for winter, is harvested.