Regarded in some circles as essential to a great salad, endive is a leafy vegetable also known as frisee, with intricately lobed, frilly leaves that provide loft and texture as well as distinctive, somewhat bitter flavor. The plants have a naturally dense habit that tends to exclude sunlight from the hearts, creating a center with beautifully white to pale-yellow, blanched leaves. To encourage self blanching, plants can be spaced closely (8–10"). For a more blanched center than self-blanching can provide, the plants can be tied with twine to exclude light from the centers. The plants should not remain tied for more than 3 or 4 days, or the centers will begin to decay due to lack of air circulation. An alternative method is to place a 4–8" cardboard disk or plate over the plant for 3–4 days.
Narrow, frilly, blanched leaves for salad mix, often called "frisée."
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Narrow, frilly, blanched leaves for salad mix.
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