This crisp salad green is known for its frilly leaves and crunchy bitter-sweet blanched inner greens, perfect to toss up with other greens or enjoy on its own.
Flavor profile: Frisée Endive is a crunchy crisp bitter green related to other chicories, known in the fall and winter for its tender sweet blanched inner greens.
Uses: Salads, under a cut of meat, or any way you would use lettuce or radicchio.
Pairs with: Rich fats such as bacon and eggs, caramelized onions, sweet and acidic dressings, fennel, berries, fresh fruits, herbs, fish, lemon, etc.
Storage: Similar to cabbage, you can store frisée in a slightly breathable but mostly airtight container/bag for a couple of weeks in the fridge, removing any outer leaves that have gone wilty.
Other names: Similar to curly endive, but a different species from Belgian endive
Nutrients: “As with most leafy greens, frisée contains very few calories and a whole lot of beneficial nutrients. A single serving contains 30% of the daily recommended intake of folic acid, eyesight-boosting vitamin A, and immune-supporter vitamin C. It’s also a fantastic source of dietary fiber, manganese, iron, and potassium.” –livfreshfarms.com
History: Frisee has long been loved and grown in Italy along with many other chicories, but it is said to have been grown first in ancient Egypt and later made its way to Northern Europe by 1200 AD. Traditionally its planted and the outer leaves are bound at the top to blanch (deprive sunlight) from the inner greens, which makes them particularly white to yellow in color and tender sweet.
Why it's a great crop: As with all chicories, frisée is a wonderful green that makes a dense head of foliage that covers the soil. It grows almost year-round but is most prominent in the fall and winter months.