Endive microgreens are the young plants that are grown from the same seed as the endive leafy green, a vegetable in the family Cichorium. Cichorium endivia. The most common species called endives come in two forms; a narrow-leaved variety called curly endive and broader-leaved called escarole. Any of these seeds may be grown as microgreens. They are harvested when they are approximately an inch tall and the first cotyledon or the first full leaf of the plant appears. Microgreens can be grown in trays indoors and located in your smart grower, on your kitchen countertop or outdoors on a patio or porch.

Endive microgreens have the same mild, contrasting bitter flavor as the full-grown endive leafy green that is great for garnishes, sandwiches, cooking, and as a seasoning. Their light bitter taste makes a nice contrast to strong flavors like sweet, spice, and salt in microgreen salads, slaws, soups, and other dishes. They work well on sandwiches in place of lettuce.

Microgreen were first introduced on chefs’ menus in San Francisco, USA as early as the 1980’s. The first microgreen initially offered to customers included basil, arugula, cilantro, kale, beets, and a colorful mixture of these microgreens. From California, microgreens moved eastward and became popular in the 1990’s. More varieties of microgreen were introduced at that time, probably including endive.