Endive (Cichorium endivia) is a popular ingredient in mixed salads and Mediterranean dishes. It has a strong flavour and a beautiful appearance. It adds a lot of flavour to dishes with its curly leaves and strong flavor.
How do you grow endive in containers
Choose a container that is at least 300 mm wide and place it in a sunny location that is protected from strong winds.
Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix should be used to fill starter trays. Sow seeds, cover lightly, and water gently. Keep the soil moist all through the germination process.
Fill chosen container with quality potting mix, such as Yates Premium Potting Mix, once seedlings reach a height of 4 – 6 cm. Choose healthy seedlings, transplant them into a pot, and thoroughly water them.
To ensure strong root development and lush green leaves, feed Yates Thrive Natural Fish Seaweed+ Plant Food Concentrate once a week.
After 10 weeks, harvest the entire plant, or regularly harvest the leaves as they grow to add to your favourite salads.
Recommended: Check out the these 6 best endive companion plants
FAQ: What other way can you do container growing
Endive grows well in containers, which is a good option if you have unpredictable weather because you can move the container to shade or even indoors if there is a surprise heatwave or cold snap.
Furthermore, having your own homegrown vegetables is an excellent option for apartment dwellers.
Grow three or four heads in a one-gallon container. Fill it with a potting mix designed for the container.
The challenge here will be keeping the soil moist, as containers tend to dry out faster than soil in the ground. To ensure good results, consider using a drip irrigation system or a self-watering container.
Why do you need to blanch endive
Blanching reduces the amount of chlorophyll in the leaves, making harvests less bitter. Some cultivars are self-blanching, so if you choose these, you can skip this step.
As previously stated, you can choose to group your plants together to encourage self-blanching.
However, doing so may promote fungal diseases, so if you want to keep them closer together, you’ll need to manually blanch them.
There are several methods for blanching your plant. The most common method is to pull the outer leaves over the centre of the plant and tie a string around the head about a third of the way down.
Alternately, place a bowl, planter, or cardboard box over the entire plant, making sure to cover any drainage holes in the planter as well as any seams or holes in the cardboard. There should be no light passing through.
To avoid rot, use whatever method you prefer, but make sure the leaves are completely dry before covering or tying them up.
You’ll need to blanch for two to three weeks, so begin this process a few weeks before the seed packet says the plant will mature.
It’s fine to lift the cover or untie the leaves to see if the plant has blanched sufficiently. When the heads are ready to harvest, the insides should be creamy white.
What are the recipe and cooking idea of endive
In salads, use endive in the same way you would lettuce. It complements other fall flavours like persimmons, pomegranates, and winter squash.
Toss frisee and Belgian endive leaves with pomegranate arils, thinly sliced persimmon, roasted squash, walnuts or sunflower seeds, goat cheese, and a mustardy vinaigrette for a refreshing salad.
Make wraps with escarole leaves to hold fillings like blue cheese, goat cheese, pears, apples, beets, or whatever else you can think of.
You can chop the leaves from two heads and combine them with two cups of vegetable stock in a saucepan. Simmer until they wilt on low heat.
Doing this should take no more than two minutes. If you leave them to simmer for too long, they will become bitter.
Cook for two minutes more after adding a cup of canned or fresh peas. Add a cup of cream and a cup of whole milk and blend until smooth.
Sprinkle with nutmeg, cayenne powder (optional), and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer, then take out of heat. Before serving, top with a dollop of sour cream and chopped fresh chives.