Endive: What is It, How Is It Grown, And How to Cook It

Discover the elegance of endive: a chicory family member, its vibrant leaves adorn salads. Nutrient-rich and versatile, it's a must-grow for any gardener!

What is an Endive?

Endive, a chicory family member, offers versatility: raw in salads, cooked as a side, or in dips. Its bitter note pairs with cheese, bacon, or citrus.

What are the Different Types of Endive?

Belgian Endive:

Belgian Endive: Known for tightly packed, pale yellow leaves. Bitter flavor suits salads or cooked dishes. In Belgium, grilled or paired with cheese/walnuts.

Curly Endive:

Curly Endive, or frisée: Frilly leaves with a hint of bitterness. Green outer, white inner. Ideal for salads, superb with bacon, cheese, and citrus dressing.

Broad Leaf Endive:

Escarole, or broad leaf endive: Wide, slightly curled leaves, less bitter. Common in soups/stews, but versatile in salads or as a side dish.

How is Endive Grown?

Belgian endive grows from chicory roots in a two-step process, resulting in tightly packed heads. Curly endive and escarole are direct-seeded like other greens

What Does Endive Taste Like?

Endive: prized for its bitter crunch, popular in salads. Belgian endive, grown in darkness, boasts delicate, sweet-bitter taste.

Endive Plant Care

Grow endive: Crisp, delicate; needs well-drained soil, regular watering, and sunlight. Balanced fertilizer boosts growth; watch for pests.


Endive flourishes in 5-6 hours of sunlight daily. Tolerates partial shade in hot weather. Optimal locations: south or west-facing gardens.


Endive prefers well-draining, fertile soil with neutral pH. Sandy, silty, or loamy textures aid water passage. Incorporate compost for fertility.

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