(Cichorium endivia )
Endive is a lovely salad vegetable (annual), with a slightly bitter taste, but that provides a nice bit of texture to a salad plate.
Endive will grow best in your garden as a cool season crop. Curly Endive is the most cold tolerant. If you have a hot spell, try to shade these plants until the hot spell passes. The secret to growing Endive is to water it regularly. If its roots dry out, you will have a very bitter crop.
Endive provides: dietary fibre, chromium, potassium, copper, iron, manganese, vitamin E, A, C, K, magnesium, phosphorous, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc. Endive has many culinary uses, especially as accompaniments. This salad green tastes better and the flavour is enhanced when the leaves are torn rather than chopped for a salad. Other ways of using this vegetable in various endive recipes is to either steam the leaves or to braise them. Chopped endive leaves are at times added to some soups, to give them a mild flavour. Some stir fried dishes too contain the sliced leaves of this highly nutritious vegetable. Whatever may be the recipe, before using it is very important to thoroughly wash the leaves of endive.
|Harvest||Covering Endive with straw for a couple of weeks (just before you harvest), will reduce this vegetable’s bitterness. Or you can blanch them by pulling the outside leaves together over the heart of the plant and tie the tips together (so the inside of the plant is covered by the outside). Leave tied up this way in your garden for 2 weeks before harvesting.|