Chicory Endive Escarole - Year Round

Chicory Shown

How to select for best flavor:

These greens are very perishable. They should be displayed in cold cases at the market and kept wet. The bunches should look fresh, tender and crisp. Avoid green-leafed varieties that are turning yellow. Also reject bunches that look flabby, wilted or damaged. Blanched types, such as Belgian endive, should never have frayed brown edges or reddish-brown spots.

 

Peak of the season:

These greens are available in fairly steady supply throughout the year. There may be more available and the price may drop slightly in early spring and late fall.

 

Nutritional value:

Chicory, escarole and endive are all fairly good sources of vitamins A and C and potassium. The greener the leaves, the higher the vitamin A content. One cup of raw greens will have about 10 calories, no fat and about 11 mgs. of sodium.

 

General information:

Endive and escarole are types of chicory. They all add excellent flavor to salads or can be steamed or boiled as greens.

 

Endive – grows in loose heads with curly leaves. The outer leaves are dark green. The color gets lighter toward the center of the head.

 

Escarole — is broad-leafed endive. The leaves may be straight or waved and a deep-green color. The heart is usually white and very tender.

 

Chicory — head-type chicory has fine, feather leaves with dark-green edges and white centers. Some types of chicory are grown for their large roots that are dried and ground for a coffee substitute.

 

Belgian endive — has about fifty 6-inch-long hearts of layered chicory that are blanched to a pure white, shading towards a pale yellow at the tip.