Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to Buy Chicory, Endive and Escarole

These vegetables, used mainly in salads, are available practically all year round - but primarily in the winter and spring.  Chicory or endive has narrow, notched edges, and crinkly laves resembling the dandelion leaf.  Chicory plants often have "blanched" yellowish leaves in the center which are preferred by many persons. Escarole leaves are much broader and less crinkly than those of chicory.

Always look for freshness, crispness, tenderness, and a good green color of the outer leaves.

Avoid plants with leaves which have brownish or yellowish discoloration or which have insect injury. 

Note - Witloff or Belgian endive is a compact, cigar-shaped plant which is creamy white from blanching.  The small shoots are kept from becoming green by being grown in complete darkness.
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