Plant Tres Fine Maraichere chicory seeds for a classic French heirloom endive known as frisée. This vegetable is not widely known in North America, but a culinary treasure in France and parts of Europe. The finely cut leaves are slightly bitter, growing in a very prostrate rosette. Growers like to bundle up the outer leaves to a point above the plant and fix them in place with an elastic band. This cuts off sunlight to the center of the rosette, resulting in a blanched interior that is much sweeter and more tender than the tough outer leaves. Frisée is best served raw with an acidic dressing, but it is unusual among greens because it can stand up to a hot oil dressing or even brief time on the grill. Its flavour is enhanced this way, and will have you returning to plant more each year. Easy to grow and delicious.
Matures in 65 days. (Open-pollinated seeds)
The chicory family includes the food plants endive and radicchio, which range in flavour from bitter to sweet. All varieties become sweeter, and lose much of their bitterness, when cooked. Try a hot oil salad dressing over endive, or a barbecued head of radicchio! Follow along with this handy How to Grow Endive and Radicchio Guide and grow food.