Batavia was a ship of the Dutch East India Company, shipwrecked on her maiden voyage (according to Wikipedia). OR a city in Illinois, another city in New York, another in Ohio. Hmm. Somehow I would have thought that Batavian endive originated in Eastern Europe.
Escarole, or broad-leaved endive (var latifolia) has broad, pale green leaves and is less bitter than the other varieties. Varieties or names include broad-leaved endive, Bavarian endive, Batavian endive, grumolo, scarola and scarole. (again, Wikipedia.)
At least there is the “Bavaria” connection.
I’ve grown Batavian endive for several years. It’s reliable. It goes through winter (under plastic covers) perfectly, and by March is still very edible. The slugs would rather feast on a more tender lettuce; they attack the escarole only as a last resort. The inner leaves are tender enough for salad. As the leaves grow and move to the outer edges of the head, they get tougher and need to be cooked.
|Here’s a great recipe for Kale and Escarole soup. I made this for dinner last night. Alas, I never have all the ingredients, so no pancetta, subbed vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and used Italian spiced canned tomatoes for the garden tomatoes. It was fantastic! I even had a can of cannellini beans. Served with garlic bread and a salad, great!|
Kale, White Bean And Escarole Soup
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnish
- 2 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 cups kale, stems removed, leaves washed and chopped
- 5 cups escarole, stems removed, leaves washed and chopped
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cans cannellini beans
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- In a large soup pot over low heat, add 3 tablespoons olive oil and sauté the pancetta, onion, garlic, celery and carrot until tender and fragrant, 15-20 minutes.
- Add the kale and escarole. Cook until greens are wilted and tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook another 10 minutes.
- Pour in the broth and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the beans and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Just before serving, add the lemon juice, stirring to combine, and salt and pepper to taste.