Although its use in Europe is commonplace, America is only recently adopting these garden herbs into their diets. Broad leaf endive varieties, also called escarole, tend to be less bitter than the curly leaf endive varieties. Escarole can be eaten like other greens either fresh as part of a green salad, or sauteed or chopped and added into soups and stews.
Radicchio (pronounced ra-dee-key-oh) is a
leaf type chicory that is sometimes known as Italian chicory. Grown as a
leaf vegetable, it has a bitter and spicy taste which tends to mellow
after being roasted or grilled. The roots of chicory varieties can be grown to a large size, dried, roasted, ground, and mixed with coffee to extend it or on its own as a substitute.
Each packet contains one gram, which is approximately 450 seeds.
The forcing varieties are grown through the summer season and then trimmed to about one inch from the root crown about three weeks before the first frost. The re-growth during this cooler weather is what is harvested. In areas with colder winter climates or with the slower maturing varieties (like Witloof Chicory), indoor forcing will be required. The extra effort yields a wonderful fresh winter salad green. Tie outer leaves if you want to blanch the centers.
Endive and Chicory will readily cross-pollinate so you will need to keep at least 500 yards distance between plantings if you intend to save seed.