If you love salads fresh from the garden, grow escarole and endive. They're the basis of some of the most elegant salads.
Endive and escarole are actually different forms of the same plant. Endive produces deeply cut, curled leaves with mild flavor. It is also sometimes called frisee, and is often included in mesclun salad mixes. Escarole has broad, smooth leaves and tends to be more bitter than endive.
Grow either type in cool conditions for mild flavor. They become bitter in hot or dry conditions. Blanching (covering the plant with a pot to exclude sunlight) for two weeks before harvest also minimizes bitterness. By the way, take care not to confuse endive with Belgian endive, which is often cooked.
More varieties for Endive
produces large heads with creamy, blanched hearts. It is tolerates hot weather with its resistance to bolting and tipburn. 48 days
is an extra-frilly frisee type with self-blanching heads. It has a mildly bittersweet flavor. 75 days