What to do with Endive

    Endive nutrition facts

    Endive, commonly popular as escarole, is a green leafy-vegetable with a hint of bitter flavor. Nevertheless, this well-known salad plant is much more than just a leafy green; packed with numerous health benefiting plant nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, etc.

    Botanically, this perennial herbaceous leafy plant belongs to the Asteraceae (daisy) family, in the genus, Cichorium, and is closely related to chicory, radicchio, and Belgian endive (witloof). Its scientific name: Cichorium endivia.

    Endive is native to Asia Minor region. This cool-season crop requires well-drained fertile soil to flourish. There exist two main cultivar varieties of endive: curly-endive (Frisée, cichorium endivia, var crispum) with curly narrow leaves, and Escarole or scarole (cichorium endivia, var latifolia) with broad leaves. Escarole leaves feature spine like-dentate margins (dandelion or lettuce like) with thick stalks. Its leaves feature less bitterness than narrow, curly, intensely bitter-taste of "frisée" (curly-endive).

    Belgian endive or witloof is a popular winter season vegetable in Europe. It features smooth cream-colored leaves, compressed into a compact (bud-like) 10 to 12 cm long heads.

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