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common chicory, broad chicory, or Batavian endive

What is it?

Escarole, a member of the chicory family, has wide, succulent stems and leaves that look more crumpled than curly. Like other chicories, it has a bitter flavor, though somewhat less so than curly endive. Though it can be eaten raw in salads, its hearty leaves benefit from cooking and is delicious with bacon, sausage, and added to white bean soups.

Kitchen math:

1 medium head = 9 to 10 cups coarsely chopped

Don’t have it?

Frisée provides a similar texture and bitter flavor in salads; for cooking, curly endive is a better substitute, since it also has hearty leaves that hold up to heat.

How to choose:

Avoid escarole with especially thick or tough looking outer leaves.

How to prep:

Remove any blemished outer leaves and remove the core. Escarole can be quite sandy, so wash it well in a few changes of water. If cooking, you can leave water clinging to the leaves; otherwise dry them well in a salad spinner.

How to store:

Store in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator and use within a few days.

Cross Reference

curly endive


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