Are there different types of endive?
TELL ME MORE: Endive
What are the different types of endive? Related to chicory, endive has three main varieties: Belgian endive [AHN-deev], curly endive [EN-dyv], and escarole.
Belgian endive has slightly bitter tasting and juicy, crisp, pale leaves. It’s grown in total darkness to prevent it from turning green (a vegetable growing technique known as blanching). Whole leaves are often used as rafts or dippers for appetizers and dips, thinly sliced for salads, or grilled, braised, or sautéed.
Curly endive is often mistaken for chicory in the U.S. It grows in loose heads with lacy, curly green outer leaves and paler centers. Curly endive also has a slightly bitter taste, especially the darker leaves, with kind of a prickly texture. Frisée is essentially a small version of curly endive. Both make great salad greens.
Escarole has thick broad leaves and is less bitter than the other two endive varieties. It’s eaten like other greens — sautéed, chopped and added to soups and stews, or as part of a salad.
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