University of Maryland Extension

Featured Plants - Escarole


Cichorium endivia
Looking for a vegetable with the tenderness to enhance a fresh salad and the toughness to withstand 20 minutes cooking in a soup?  Try escarole. This leafy green member of the chickory family has a slight bitter flavor.  For salad, use the inner lighter-colored leaves. The more mature darker leaves are suitable for braising with olive oil and garlic or its more popular use in escarole-bean soup. Escarole is high in folic acid, fiber, vitamins A and K.  Seeding, spacing and fertility requirements are similar to growing lettuce. One outstanding quality is its tolerance to high temperatures, extending use later into the summer when other greens peter out. Batavian broad leaf cultivars are recommended for summer. Start seeds indoors in March. Direct seed in mid-July for a fall crop.
(March 2013)

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