Endive Olesh Tres Fine

Also called frisee, endive’s beautiful lacy leaves will turn ordinary lettuce salad into an upscale mesclun mix. The mild flavor blends well with other greens and the crisp, finely cut leaves add interesting texture. Use in the flower garden for an exquisite ornamental.

When to sow outside: 4 to 6 weeks before average last frost or as soon as soil can be worked, or 8 to 10 weeks before average fi rst frost. In mild climates (USDA zones 8 or warmer), sow in fall for winter harvest.

When to start inside: 10 to 12 weeks before average last frost; transplant outside 4 to 6 weeks after start inside.

Harvesting: In fall, harvest after first couple of light frosts; flavor is actually improved with light frost. When plants are 12" to 15" across, entire head can be cut off at base. In spring, harvest before temperatures get above 90° F. Some people peel away the outer leaves, as they tend to be tougher and more bitter than inner leaves. The leaves can actually be harvested anytime in a “cut- and-come-again” fashion; this is particularly good when seeds are planted too late in spring, and warm weather is approaching quickly, threatening to cause plants to bolt.

Artist: Donna Clement