15 May 2014

Frisee


Frisee (pronounced Free-ZAY), also called Chicory, is a salad green in the Endive family.  Unlike other endives, its leaves are long and curly rather than cylindrical shaped.  The leaves are skinny and light green, turning to a creamy white towards the center of the plant.  While slightly bitter, like Escarole, it is not as bitter as its cousins Radicchio (Italian Chicory) and Belgian endive and can be used fresh in salads or cooked.  Frisee is very high vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamins A & K, and fiber.  Toss chopped frisee with orange segments and pomegranate seeds, or radicchio and pears for a winter salad. Top frisee with lardons (French term for small, matchstick cut pieces of pork lard… or bacon cut from the belly of the pig), vinaigrette and a poached egg. Sauté frisee until wilted and combine with chopped walnuts and goat cheese.  Frisee will keep, refrigerated in a produce bag, for one to two weeks.  Since we grow Frisee, we of course had to try the recipe with eggs this morning.  It was delicious.   I have only had it before in salads and so am enjoying finding new recipes for it.  Due to the texture of the leaves, it holds up well to warm dressings. 

Some farmers will tie up the leaves, preventing the sun from penetrating the center of the plant and thereby “blanching” the frisee, turning it creamy white.  It is this part of the frisee that is much milder in flavor.  Lightly sautéing the frisee will also lessen the bitterness.

Frisee and other endives are grown like lettuce, sowing outdoors in the spring or for an extra early crop, can be sown indoors in the greenhouse and then transplanted out after danger of frost. Seeds are sown outdoors after danger of frost as well. Soil temperature should be at least 50°F for seeds; transplants can tolerate slightly lower temperatures. Depending on the variety of Frisee, and there are many, and the stage at which you choose to harvest, maturity can take anywhere from 42 – 60 days.  Frisee is sensitive to tip burn, so you must be attentive to its needs. 

Learn more by liking us on Facebook at Running Creek Farm
or by also visiting the following site: http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Frisee_512.php#sthash.KxvDusyg.dpuf

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