Curly endive, Broad-leafed endive (Escarole)
Mediterranean native. Includes curly as well as broad-leafed endive (escarole), both of which form a rosette of leaves. Tolerates more heat than lettuce, grows faster in cold weather. Matures in 90 to 95 days from seed. In cold-winter areas, sow from spring into summer; in mild-winter climates, sow so that plants mature after summer heat is past.
Plant in rows 15 to 18 in. apart. Be sure to thin plants to 10 or 12 in. apart. When plants have reached full size (a foot across), pull outer leaves over center and tie them up at top (but not when they’re wet, as that may cause decay). Covered center leaves will blanch to yellow or white. Endive can be used unblanched by cutting outer leaves, as for Swiss chard.
‘Green Curled’ is standard curly endive; ‘Broad-leaved Batavian’ is a good full-leafed variety.
Belgian or French endives are the blanched sprouts of a kind of chicory; see Chicory.
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