What Does Endive Taste Like? The Key To A Good Salad

endive background

Endive or commonly known as Escarole (Cichorium endivia) is a leafy vegetable which is popular in salads. It's packed with numerous health beneficial nutrients. It is closely related to chicory, radicchio and Belgian endive. Endive is indigenous to Asia. This cool-season crop requires well-drained fertile soil to flourish. Endive can be eaten raw or gently cooked. This article will talk you through the taste of endives, how to pick endives and how to store endives.

Kale is also a kind of leafy vegetables, we suggest informing yourself at What Does Kale Taste Like.

Taste Of Endive

endives on plate

It is sweet and has a nutty flavor with a pleasant mild bitterness. The taste of endive is similar to a radicchio's. When prepared with butter and a little sugar, Endive can make a delicious dish. The sweet flavor and crisp texture go well with salads.

If harvested too late, it can turn bitter and woody in taste. The young leave is quite tender and has more flavor. Older Endive leaves are cardboard in texture and more bitter compared to the natural flavor of Endive.

When Endive is already old and reaches the point of rotting, it can still be salvaged by cooking. To draw out the bitterness of Endive, salting and rinsing with cold water can do the trick.


There are two types of Endive, namely Escarole and Curly Endive.

1. Escarole

fresh endives

It is a widely distributed plant. During the time of the Egyptians and the Greeks, it was used as a vegetable. Escarole grows in bunchy heads with narrow, ragged-edged leaves that has a curl at the end. The center of the plant is yellow-white in color.

It has broad, slightly curved, pale green leaves with a mild flavor of bitterness. It is used as a green salad, eaten raw with vinaigrette or mayonnaise dressing.

Escarole is an excellent source of vitamin A and also a good source of Iron. The bitterness of Escarole is believed to be an aid in digestion by stimulating the flow of the digestive juices.

It is not that hard to find Escarole on your local supermarket. It usually cost more compared to other green selections. When properly preserved, Escarole can be kept refrigerated up to seven days.

2. Curly Endive

curly endive

This variety is best used in salad mix. It has a bitter taste that goes well with salad dressings like honey mustard or mayonnaise. Curly endive is sometimes mistaken for frisée or chicory.

It has curling tips at the end of the leaves. The inner and lighter leaves are less bitter and have a little sweetness compared to the outer leaves which are really bitter.

Cooking curly endive can add texture and flavor to different dishes. It's commonly used in salad preparations. It can also be cooked, braised, steamed or chopped to be added to soups.

Curly endive contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. In addition, it also contains potassium, phosphorus and dietary fibers. These nutrients are essential for eyes, giving protection against diseases and regulating bowel movement.

Selecting Endives


When selecting Endives, look for ones without blemishes and being discolored especially along the feathery yellow-green edges. Fresh Endives are heavy and have densely packed leaves. You can peel the outer layers a bit to check the inner leaves.

Keep the endives in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. They should last about 7 to 14 days. Do not cut them until you are ready to use or they will go brown faster

Fresh endive is available throughout the year in the markets. You should choose crispy and tender leafy tops.

Planting Endives

growing endives

Both the curly Endives and Escaroles prefer humus-rich soils. They require plenty of sunlight to grow. It needs to be watered regularly to avoid sharp and bitter leaves growing out of dried ground. They need 1 inch of water per week. Do not wet the plants because it will get rotten.

These plants can be planted without any problem. Make sure to use a cutting knife in harvesting Endives. You can cut the entire plant or just the leaves. New growth can occur if you leave undamaged roots and 1 inch of stem.

In Conclusion

Endives have two types, the Curly Endives and Escaroles. Both of these Endives are mild bitter in taste. To lessen the bitterness of Endives, they need to be cooked. They are both used in salads. When picking out Endives always make sure to avoid those with blemishes and discolored. If stored properly and refrigerated well, Endives can last one to two weeks. Planting Endives is very easy, it only needs fertile soil to grow and water regularly. Be sure not to overwater them because these plants tend to rot.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

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