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Synonym: escarole; botanical name: Cichorium endivia var. latifolium



Endive originated in the Mediterranean area and in India. It is especially popular in the USA and in Western Europe. In some countries endive is as important as head lettuce.


Endive is available the entire year, but especially from May to November. Domestically grown endive can be bought from July to October.

Earlier, endive was exclusively a winter vegetable. Its name derives from Arabic and means "plant growing in January."

Appearance, taste, characteristics

The outer leaves of the half-closed head of an endive are green; towards the middle they become lighter and yellow. There is "smooth endive" with undivided and broad leaves, which have irregularly serrated edges.

Then there is curly endive, or frisée (Cichorium endivia var. crispum). Its leaves are laciniated and slightly curled. Towards the middle they become finer and more tender.

Earlier, endive had to be bound together several weeks prior to the harvest in order to promote the yellow coloring of the inner leaves. With the newer varieties this is no longer necessary. Endive is related to chicory, which explains its lightly bitter taste.


100 g contain:

Endive, fresh
Energie (kcal)
Wasser (g)
Eiweiß (g)
Fett (g)
< 1
Kohlenhydrate (g)
< 1
Ballaststoffe (g)
Vitamin C (mg)
Vitamin A (RÄ) (µg)
Carotin (mg)
Folsäure (µg)
Kalium (mg)
Natrium (mg)
Calcium (mg)
Magnesium (mg)
Eisen (mg)

Harmful substances

Endive can contain very high amounts of nitrate, up to 4000 mg per kg.

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

The yellow heart of a good-quality endive makes up about one third of the head. Light brown discoloration on the outer leaves is unimportant, as these are not normally used. The salad heart should be free of spoilage, however. Endive can be wrapped in a moist cloth and kept in the refrigerator for 2–3 days.

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

Endive is eaten predominantly raw, as a salad. The tough and unattractive outer leaves and the stalk are removed. Then the salad is washed and cut in thin strips. In addition to serving it with various spicy dressings, you can prepare it with fruits and sweet dressings. Due to its appearance, frisée salad is suitable for decorating meat or fish platters. In other countries it is not uncommon to serve endive cooked as well, e.g. in stews or soups.





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