Wikipedia Article About Endive on Wikipedia
Endive (Cichorium endivia) is a winter leaf vegetable which can be cooked or used in salads. It is often confused with the closely related chicory. Endives were first cultivated in the 1830's in Belgium, and France remains the largest producer of endives.
Endives are part of a genus called Cichorium, made up of bitter leaf vegetables. It is divided between Cichorium endivia (Endives) and Cichorium intybus. The second includes Chicory, Belgian Endive (witloof), Radicchio and Puntarelle.
There are three main varieties of endive: Frisée, curly endive and escarole.
Curly endive (sometimes mistakenly called chicory in the United States) has green, rimmed, curly outer leaves.
"Frisée" has finely cut, frizzy leaves.
Escarole has broad, pale green leaves and is less bitter than the other varieties.
Endive is rich in many vitamins and minerals, especially in folate and vitamin A and K, and is high in fiber.
"Chicory" has prominent stems and leaves.
Belgian endive (also known as French endive and witloof; in France it is called endive and in Belgium and some parts of Northern France called chicon) has a small head of cream-coloured bitter leaves. It is grown completely underground to avoid the leaves turning green and opening up. This is extensive manual work, as the plant has to be kept just below the dirt surface as it grows, only showing the very tip of the leaves.
"Radicchio" has red leaves.
"Puntarelle" has narrow stems and leaves.