Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Endive Another Year

At -6 C it has been the coldest night so far and I am reluctantly accepting that we have moved straight on to winter mode. 

One autumnal novelty that has worked a treat this year is Endive Pancalieri. It tolerates cold and thrives just as all the usual lettuces are grinding to a halt.

It looks like a loose leaf lettuce but has serrated leaves rather than the rounded oakleaf we are used to, and is sold by the supermarkets in bags as 'Frisee'. Although the leaves are green they are best blanched in order to minimise the bitterness that can develop as the temperature drops. Here is the result of my experimentation:

 The crisp and sweet blanched stems are encouraged by holding the rosette up with a loop of string. In the row of three below the middle plant can be seen before and after tying up. 


The loop can be lowered for harvesting and then pulled back up again if the whole plant is not being harvested at once.  Meantime the next rosette can be tied in readiness for harvesting in a week or two.They are quite voluminous and the stems seem to cluster in groups even though I am sure each rosette is just one plant. 

As these are across town at the allotment I am not sure they have survived the current frost, but so fare they have been a roaring success and I will be growing them in future years so as to extend the salad season into the colder months.

p.s. Endive is a member of the chicory family.  I am also growing some chicory proper to be dug up and then forced for 'chicons'  still later in the growing year.  Watch this space!


  1. I’m afraid endive and chicory are not to my taste which is a pity!

    1. That's a shame at this time of year. Much as I like brassicas and roots a bit of salad is refreshing.

  2. Just wanted to say "Hi!"

    Clever way to blanch the leaves. Over here escarole or frisee is sometimes known as endive, just plain endive, not Belgian.

    Anyway you call it, it goes into a simple soup where the slight bitterness is appreciated. I call it "scrolly" soup and prefer it sans chicken, sans beans, just rice. It is a favorite of mine.

    I hope it warms you up! (We're expecting cooler and rainier weather later tonight. Hope it materializes.)

    1. Hi Jane, Glad things are getting back to normal. I see your recommended recipe link references my 'go to' author for Italian cuisine! Thanks

    2. Right. Marcela Hazan. That is the recipe I use. It just wasn't available online that I could find.

  3. There it is - just a page in front of Minestrone. (I am reminded of the comment that after initial experimentation we end up using at best one recipe from each cookbook we own.)