The endive is cultivated for its curly or straight leaves, of a green to yellow colour. It is chiefly eaten raw in salads or as part of stews, providing with vitamins and minerals, since its content in calories is very low. It is a vegetable cultivated for its leaves, that may be straight or curly, arranged in rosette. Its colour ranges from dark green to yellow. The leaves do not form a heart, so they were traditionally tied to favour the whitening inside the plant. At present, the plants are covered with plastic sheets or with plastic ” hats’ for each plant.
The endive is chiefly consumed raw, as an ingredient in salads. Its slightly bitter taste makes a good combination with celery, tomato, onion, anchovy, nuts and fruit, among other ingredients. The greenest and hard leaves can be used in stews, broths and purees.
The endive is beneficial for the stomach, being a refreshing, laxative and depurative vegetable. The leaves of this plant contain a bitter compound, intibina, that stimulates the appetite, favouring digestion and increasing the activity of the gall bladder.