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The chicory plant dates back to the era of Cleopatra, according to the website Totally Nawlins. But it may be its use as a coffee-like beverage, popularized in New Orleans, that keeps chicory on the American culinary radar. The leaves of the chicory plant are eaten fresh in salads or as a cooked vegetable and the root is roasted, ground and brewed with coffee or alone as a satisfying, caffeine-free beverage. Because it is less expensive than coffee, blending chicory with your morning coffee is also economical. Chicory adds a rich flavor to coffee and reduces its natural bitterness.
Following article paraphrased from,  How to Roast Chicory | eHow
Wash the chicory root thoroughly to remove all the soil. Scrub gently with a vegetable brush if needed.
Slice the root into 1/4-inch rounds. Chop rounds from the larger end of the root in halves or quarters so that all the pieces are approximately the same size.
Place the chicory bits on a cookie sheet and arrange them in a single layer. Put them in a preheated 325-degree oven.
Roast for 30 to 90 minutes, stirring the pieces approximately every 10 minutes to prevent burning. Remove the chicory from the oven when it is golden brown and feels dry. Transfer the chicory pieces to a cooking rack and allow them to cool and continue drying overnight before grinding or storing.
Tips & Warnings
Store roasted chicory in a canning jar or air-tight freezer bag. Keep it in the pantry away from direct sunlight and moisture.
Grind roasted chicory in a coffee grinder and brew it directly in your coffee maker just as you would regular coffee.
Brew a pot of chicory to use in gravies, soups or stews. It will add a layer of flavor and color.
Try sweetened, hot chicory instead of hot chocolate. Add sugar or honey and a dash of cream to a freshly brewed cup of chicory for a sweet, caffeine-free treat.
Add a sprinkle of dried chicory root to your dog's food dish once or twice a week. Chicory is a natural probiotic that will keep your pup's digestive system in balance.