While not as popular as the Kang Kong and Bayam Leaves, endives have been starting to grow in popularity, especially among salad-lovers. Belonging to the chicory family, there are two major types of endives that are regularly consumed – the curly, narrow ones (frisee) and the broader leaved ones (escarole). While the both have similar properties and health benefits, we will be looking at the curly, narrower ones commonly known as frisee in this article.
Also Known As
Because of its distinct bitterness, these greens have both avid fans and staunch haters. In addition to this flavor profile, they are usually used to add a good crunch and texture to salads. It is also good to note that curly frisee leaves are more bitter than its broader leaved counterparts.
i) Vitamins – The curly endive is rich in Vitamin A (and beta-carotenes), various Vitamins from the B-complex group, Vitamin C and Vitamin K.
ii) Minerals – Besides being high in fiber, these bitter greens are power-packed with Manganese, Copper, Iron, Potassium and Calcium.
iii) Others – The frisee is also rich antioxidants and said to be able to help reduce glucose and LDL cholesterol levels in diabetes and obese patients. This curly endive is also known to help in a whole host of health issues from curing acne to treating eye complication, and even stimulating appetite! Check out this article from Health Benefits Times for more Health Benefits of Endives.
Consuming the Frisee
When choosing the curly endive, make sure to look for crisp and tender, almost fuzzy tops and avoid tough and discolored (yellow) leaves. They should stay fresh wrapped loosely in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. As you prepare to consume them, make sure you run them under cold water to remove all dirt particles that may still be on the vegetable. The frisee is a delicate green and you may want to use your hands all through the preparation process, especially when removing the stem (instead of using a knife) and the outer, tougher leaves.
Frequently used as part of a salad, the frisee is mostly consumed raw. For extra crisp greens in your salads, soak them in ice water for 5 to 10mins after washing. To offset its bitterness, use more acidic/tart dressings for your salad.
Although this is not as common, people do also cook the frisee as a side dish. Again, they are delicate and only require a quick blanche or a light sauté to cook them. Many claim that doing so removes the bitterness and enhances their subtle flavor.
** Get organic endives delivered right to your doorstep: Order Online Here
Feature Image: dallaterra.net