Curly Endive, also known as Chicory, or Curly Chicory, is a bitter green that can add texture and flavor to several dishes. As hearty green is related to Endive and escarole, it is mainly enjoyed in salads or sauteed as its other green daisy family plants.
How to buy, prep and store
When buying Endive, like most leafy green, look for the heads with deep-green outer leaves, not wilted, and no signs of browning on the stem. The curly leaves and narrow stems are edible. They can be cut into bite-size for salads.
Storing is easy! Always keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator drawer. Washing! All leafy vegetables must be washed and dry thoroughly. Washing leafy greens under running water is a great idea. A quick soak in a vinegar-water solution is also recommended to remove unwanted debris or germs.
Here are the 7 reasons why you should start incorporating Curly Endive into your cooking
- Make great salads. It can be eaten raw and has a slightly bitter taste that is perfect with any fruit or vegetable combination or a sweet dressing.
- It adds texture and flavor to a number of dishes including stews, and soups. The bitterness will mellow out when cooked.
- Chop and combine it with other greens and use it in salads, stews (with meat/meatless), and soups.
- It contains significant amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin K as well as some Vitamin C. It contains phosphorus, folate, potassium, and dietary fiber, with the darker green leaves offering more nutrients than the white leaves.
- This vegetable keeps well in the fridge for about two weeks – no reason not to consume your leafy greens.
- It is available year-round, but the peak season is Spring through Summer.
- It’s also a source of kaempferol, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce inflammation and inhibit the growth of cancer cells in test-tube studies.
So, when you see these beautiful leafy green vegetables at your local supermarket, please don’t ignore them. Try it! You might like it. Substitutions for this leafy green veggie are watercress (somewhat similar taste), arugula, chicory leaves, and radicchio.