Endive is a leaf vegetable that fits in the Genus of Cichorium. The species of Cichorium consists of Cichorium Endivia, Cichorium pumilum, and Cichorium intybus. There is a common confusion between Cichorium Endivia and Cichorium intybus. The Endive has two main subspecies: Curly endive ( frisée) and Escarole.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Asterales
- Family: Asteraceae
- Genus: Cichorium
- Species C. Endivia
- Binomial name: Cichorium Endivia
- The plant has been a crucial part of the diet of Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks
- A Belgian farmer discovered “Belgian Endive” in 1830. As he realized that chicory roots can sprout and produce leafy heads with cream color when they’re placed in wet and dark conditions.
- Most Endives reach up to six to ten inches in height.
Endive Buying Guide
When choosing perfect endive there is a couple of things to watch out for. Look for endives that have a bright green color and those that are crisp. You should always avoid endives that have begun to brown a little bit and wilt headed endives.
Endive Production & Farming in Texas
The plant of Endive is very suitable for growing in Texas due to its tolerance of extreme weather and that they’re less susceptible to disease, insects, and infections.
So, there are two types of endive. A narrow and with curly leaves known just as endive, and a wide-leafed type known as escarole. The curly type of endives are more tolerant of extreme weather and your best bet is to plant them from late spring to early fall. As for the other type, it is better to plant them in late fall to early winter, and from early spring.
Some of the most common insects to invade endives are aphids, darkling beetles, flea beetles, thrips, and loopers.
Aphids are sprayed off with water, the insecticide is sprayed only if there is a high amount of aphids.
Ditches filled with water can prevent darkling beetles.
Floating row covers in areas where flea beetles are a problem.
Removing the plant from the soil just after harvesting and only use insecticide if there is evident damage from leafminers.
Avoid planting next to cereal, onion, and garlic because that is where a big number of thrips can grow.
Loopers are mostly put in place by natural enemies.
The plant of endive originates from Asia Minor. Although, today you can find endive all around Europe and North America.
For planting, you should prepare the soil and fertilize it as you would for cabbage. You should space around six to eight seeds per foot. And a quarter of an inch deep. Also, thin the seedlings so they are ten to fourteen inches apart. Two weeks after thinning pour nitrogen lightly on the soil next to the plant. Place mulch around the plant and keep the soil moist.
Endives are usually packaged in plastic bags but one of the most recent ways to do so is to package them directly into the boxes and covering it only with satin paper. Stripped boxes are usually used.
There are a few ways that you can enjoy yourself with endives. To prepare endives you should place them in cold water before using. Soak the endives in cold water if you notice that the leaves are wilted.
The endives are usually known for their mild bitter taste. You can eat endives in salads, blend them with other greens, you can also use them as appetizers, they can also hold other ingredients like cheese or seafood. The leaves are also tasty when being dipped in salsa, guacamole, or creamy dips because of its crunchy texture. You can also roast the leaves in the oven to enhance the nutty flavor of the vegetable.
To store endives you should wrap them around in a paper towel and place them in a plastic bag before putting it in the refrigerator. They can last up to one week in there.
There is a quick way to prepare a good healthy salad with endives. Endive, Apple and Walnut Salad is an amazing meal you should try. To prepare the meal, you should cut endives in quarters and slice again those pieces in half. Take a medium-sized bowl and put Swiss cheese, Apples, Walnuts, and Endives. Add a pinch of salt and sugar, 1 tablespoon of canola oil and extra-virgin oil, and two tablespoons of rice wine vinegar. Shake the jar to combine the ingredients and pour it over the salad in the bowl. You can add a little bit of pepper to enhance the flavor.
Endive also consists of vitamins A, C, and K. Also folate, known as vitamin B9.
The vegetable can also prevent macular degeneration, cataract, anemia, development of some types of cancer. It is also great for the digestive system.
Kaempferol is found in endives and has its own benefits. Anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-allergic, analgesic are helped by the natural flavonol. It also has benefits for the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
When Are Endive in Season in Texas?
To find out when Endive are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.