Endive

Have you ever seen the word “endive” while looking at a recipe and not been sure what that is?

Endive is a green, leafy plant that is a member of the chicory family. Although not as common as lettuce or spinach, endive can be a great addition to salads. That isn’t all you can use it for, though—endive can actually be cooked, too. Steam, sauté, or add to soups and other hot dishes. This plant is rich in vitamins and minerals.

There are two main types of endive: escarole and curly. Escarole has broad leaves and less bitterness. Curly endive has, as the name suggests, curly leaves that are more frilly and more narrow than Escarole.

Endive is similar to lettuce and can be grown in a home garden. Plant endive seeds in soil rich with organic matter in an area that receives full sun. Water regularly to ensure the best taste and texture. During the last couple weeks of growth, you may want to blanch endive plants by tying the leaves. This gives endive a lighter, creamier interior.

To harvest endive, you can take individual leaves from the plant or harvest the entire plant. You can plant endive for spring and fall harvest.

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