Belonging to the genus Cichorium, the Cichorium Endiva is a flowering plant species and related to the bitter-leaf vegetable endive. The curly-leaf species is known as endive while the flat, larger leaf type is the escarole. Endive comes from the daisy or Asteraceae family of plants, is native to Asia Minor and a closely-related cousin of the chicory.
Like the lettuce, the endive thrives in cool weather, has a robust flavour and a crisp texture. The inner leaves taste sweet while the outer ones can be a little pungent. Blended with other vegetables, the endive provides a sweet and rather neutral taste. Endive can add zest to the salads.
On the whole endive contains 43% vitamin A, 11% vitamin C, 5% iron and 5% calcium.
Endive is known to fight several skin conditions including scleroderma. The juice of endive is a good source of vitamin E and helps maintain a smooth and moist skin.