(Chicorium endiva) Endive is a form of chicory but with a low spreading habit and grows in much the same way and conditions as lettuce but with the typical bitter taste of chicory. Endive comes in two main forms. First is the curly or frisée (frizzy) leaf endive, producing distinctive fine frilly or curly leaves.
Second, is the broad-leaf endive, often called "escarole" or "Batavian" endive, with large broad flat leaves and is slightly less bitter than the former. Endive is also high in vitamins, minerals and fibre. Shortly before harvest, endive is often blanched to reduce it’s bitterness by laying a plate over the centre of the plant for roughly 10 days until the leaves bleach to a creamy white.
Endive is easy to grow in any good garden soil in full sun with adequate moisture. Sow endive seeds in spring and autumn for cut and come again salad leaves, or in summer to harvest whole plant in autumn/early winter. Endive should be protected from extremes of temperature and dryness as this may induce bolting and increase bitterness.
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