The Q&A Archives: Preparing Endive For Harvest

Question: We are growing endive for the first time. We prepare it by cooking and creaming rather than as a salad item. Must we still blanch it? How many days does it take ? Also when it is harvested do you destroy the entire plant? Thank you.

Answer: Whether to blanch or not is really a matter of taste. Blanching, whether it is asparagus, celery, or endive, is generally done to make the plant more tender and mild tasting.

To blanch, gather up the outer leaves and tie them together at the top to exclude light from the heart of the plant. Be sure the leaves are dry when you gather and tie them, so the plant won't rot. In fact, you may need to untie them after a rainstorm to allow the inside leaves to dry. It's labor-intensive, but it's the best way to blanch endive.

You can harvest individual leaves or cut the entire plant at ground level. If you leave a small section of stem, you may get regrowth.

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