Endive or Escarole
Plant Name: Asteraceae (compositae)
Plant Family: Asteraceae (compositae)
Scientific Name: Chicorium Endivia
Endive is thought to have originated in East India. It was used as food by the Egyptians and later by Greeks and Romans. Early cooks used it in salads and as a pot herb, but today it is mostly used in salads.
Endive was largely ignored in the U.S. by market gardeners until after 1940s.
True endive should not be confused wtih French or Belgian endive, which is a variety of chicory. Endive and Escarole are closely related to chicory and radicchio.
There are two types of endive, the curled or fringed, and escarole which has broad leaves. Because it is attractive in tossed salads and garnishes, the curly leafed type is planted more often.