Curly endive, also known as frisée, is a leafy vegetable in the chicory family. (Other chicory types include bitter veggies like escarole, radicchio, and the white-leaved Belgian endive). Curly endive is a crisp bitter green can be used as an addition in salads, or can be cooked as a side dish. The inner pale leaves are somewhat more tender and mild than the bitter outer ones.
From the New York Times, here is a bistro salad classic of curly endive with bacon and poached egg. You want curly endive with tender, blanched centers. That means the darker green outer leaves must be removed and not used in the dish. You want to expose the pale inner leaves and keep them looking as natural as possible. Don’t chop them. For the lardons, use bacon or, if you don’t want its smoky taste, unsmoked pancetta. And when you fry them, take care to brown the lardons lightly so that they are crisp, but with a little give. Don’t overcook them, or the egg. (more…)