What is an Endive?
Let’s start with the pronunciation: on- deeve. Actually, if “n-dive” is the pronunciation you had in mind you’re not completely off the mark. An endive (n-dive) is the leafy, lettuce-resembling crop that is related to endive (on-deeve). But they aren’t the same plant.
The process of harvesting endive (on-deeve) is twofold. First, a chicory seed is grown over a couple of months; its leaves are then mown down, exposing the chicory root. That is then taken to cold dark storage before continuing the second phase of the growing process. In the second phase, the root is placed upright and packed in a crate left in a dark, temperature controlled room that mimics a cave. Fertilized water trickles over the root, and the carbohydrates left inside the root come alive, causing the root to grow new leaves, which are endive (on-deeve).
The nutrients the vegetable delivers include Vitamins A and K, as well as fiber.
The elongated shape of the endive (on-deeve) make an elegant presentation when cut in half and stuffed with a filling.