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Consider Planting Chicories Now

Consider trying a chicory in your fall garden. Perhaps lesser-grown than other European greens, members of the chicory family can spice up a salad in unique ways. They come in many forms, from the delicate frisee to the hearty, red radicchio.

Here are a few to try:

  • Endive (Chicorium endivia) – The French call this frisee, a feathery-leaved rosette that provides spicy, somewhat nutty-tasting leaves for a long season in a cut-and-come-again plant.
  • Escarole (C. endivia) – Escarole grows in a loose head of larger, dark green leaves, which are excellent braised or used in stews, but young leaves are tender enough for salads.
  • Radicchio (C. intybus) – Often called Belgian endive, this striking plant has deep red leaves with white veins and forms an upright, tight head.

Tip: The blanched leaves of endive are highly desirable to chefs. To blanch, or cause the leaves to turn white, gather them up a week or so before harvest, bind them with string or a rubber band, then cover the plant with a board or bucket so it’s in the dark.