Endive microgreens are the perfect addition to your salads, soups, sandwiches, and veggie dishes. This beautiful and tasty microgreen also makes the perfect garnish thanks to its slight bitterness and extra crunch.
Endive microgreens were enjoyed by ancient Greeks and Egyptians; however, it wasn't until the late 1500s when endive was cultivated in Europe. Today, it is enjoyed around the world.
Endive is rich in vitamin K and vitamin C. It also contains a flavonoid called kaempferol, which may help reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
Endive is a cool-weather crop. If exposed to hot temperatures, the plant can bolt and become tough and bitter. Luckily, indoor temperatures are perfect for endive microgreens. Check out our microgreen profile to learn more about growing endive microgreens.
|Flavor||Endive has a mild, yet bitter flavor.|
|Pre-Soak (Yes/No)||No presoaking is required for endive microgreens.|
|Color||Endive microgreens have pale green stems with light green leaves.|
|Germination Time||Endive microgreens germinate in 2 to 3 days.|
|Harvest Time||Endive microgreens can be harvested between 8 and 15 days.|
|Green Thumb Level (1-5)||2 – Endive microgreens are fairly easy to grow.|
Endive microgreens are an easy-to-grow microgreen that has a slightly bitter flavor. This delectable microgreen pairs perfectly with sweet microgreens like corn or pea microgreens.
Whether you have been growing microgreens for a while or whether you have never grown microgreens, you can successfully grow microgreens. Here are the most common frequently asked questions on growing endive microgreens.
No. most microgreens will not regrow after harvesting. If you try to regrow endive microgreens, their growth will be stunted, and the taste will be negatively affected.
Endive microgreens are fast-growing. You can expect to harvest your microgreens in less than two weeks.
Endive microgreens can be grown in soil, in a soilless growing medium, or hydroponically. We recommend growing endive microgreens in coconut coir.
Because of endive's naturally bitter flavor, it is delicious when added to microgreen salads, on sandwiches, and when paired with savory items.
There are several methods that can be used to grow endive microgreens, including in the soil or hydroponically. We recommend growing endive microgreens in a soilless growing medium like coconut coir. This growing medium helps ensure success. Follow our easy-to-understand instructions and grow tasty and nutritious endive microgreens.
A starter kit like the Deluxe Starter Kit found at True Leaf Market contains the basic equipment needed to start growing endive microgreens. This kit contains the grow trays, a misting bottle, sample seeds, and sample growing mediums to get you started.
If you decide to purchase your equipment separately, there are several things you will need. Whether you choose a starter kit or decide to purchase each piece of equipment separately, you can expect to spend a couple of hundred dollars on supplies. There are also some optional pieces of equipment you should consider purchasing. These items make growing microgreens a breeze.
When it comes to growing mediums, there are several options available. The two most common growing mediums are seed starting soil and coconut coir. We typically recommend coconut coir for growing microgreens.
Coconut coir is made from the husks of coconuts, making it an environmentally friendly, renewable resource. This soilless growing medium holds water while preventing root rot, mildew, and mold.
Seed starting soil is a fine-grained potting soil with added nutrients to help seeds develop and root. Because microgreens are harvested within a couple of weeks, these nutrients are not needed for development.
A total of three growing trays will be needed for growing endive microgreens. You will need two trays for the bottom and one tray for the top. One of the trays will need to have drainage holes while the other two should not have any holes. Although there are different sized growing trays on the market, we recommend using 10 inch by 20 inch grow trays.
A tray with drainage holes allows you to water your endive microgreens from the bottom up.
Two growing trays with no holes will be used during the germination process. The tray with drainage holes will sit inside one tray. The other tray with no holes will be used as a humidity/blackout dome.
A misting bottle allows you to gently water your microgreen seeds without disturbing the delicate roots.
A full spectrum LED grow light will be used after the microgreens have germinated to help with consistent, healthy growth.
A heating mat is used to regulate soil temperature during the germination process. Once the seeds have germinated, the heating mat can be turned off.
A planter's rack allows you to use the vertical spaces in your home to stack multiple growing trays in a small area. Additionally, this tray allows you to attach grow lights and circulation fans easily.
Circulation fans are used to reduce the risk of mold and other soilborne diseases. These fans are utilized once your endive seeds have germinated.
Green Curled Ruffec – By Mountain Valley Seed Co., Green Curled Ruffec is a great choice for microgreen salads thanks to its slightly bitter flavor and juicy, yet crunchy texture.
Broadleaf Batavian – By Mountain Valley Seed Co., the Broadleaf Batavian is great for garnishes, salads, soups, and sandwiches. The delicate stems and leaves add a delightful crunch to your favorite dishes.
Our step-by-step endive microgreen growing guide will help you know how to plant, harvest, and store your endive microgreens. Each step is detailed to ensure your success.
Begin by filling your growing tray with drainage holes with your growing medium. Like we said earlier, we recommend using coconut coir as the growing medium. The growing medium should be level and filled to right below the top of your grow tray lip.
Once filled, you need to water your growing medium. This can be done in two different ways. Either by spraying with your misting bottle or soaking your growing tray.
You can use your misting bottle to thoroughly soak your tray. Allow the tray to sit for 10 minutes and spray again. It will take 3 to 5 times to ensure the growing medium is saturated.
You can also set your growing tray with drainage holes in a sink with a couple of inches of water in it. Allow your growing medium to draw up the water for at least 30 minutes.
Once your growing medium is saturated, allow excess water to drain from the growing tray for 15 minutes. Then, place the growing tray with drainage holes inside a growing tray with no holes. You are now ready to plant your microgreen seeds.
You will need approximately one ounce of endive microgreen seeds for each 10 inch by 20 inch tray. Spread the seeds evenly across the tray. Use your hand or a piece of cardboard to gently press the seeds into the soil.
Grab a few handfuls of your growing medium and gently spread across the tops of your endive microgreen seeds. Then, using your misting bottle, gently spray the top of your growing tray with 5 or 6 sprays.
Germination occurs in the dark. Therefore, you will need to mimic the seeds being buried in the ground. This is accomplished by inverting a growing tray on top of your microgreen seeds and placing a weight, heavy rock, or heavy book atop the inverted tray.
Many new microgreen gardeners think this step will harm their microgreen seeds; however, it actually strengthens the root system and results in bigger, stronger, and healthier microgreens.
Once the tray has been placed on top of the seeds, place the grow tray in a dark location like an unused closet and leave it alone for two days. On the second day, lift the inverted tray and check the moisture level of the soil along with the germination rate of your endive microgreens.
If at least 90 percent of your endive microgreens have germinated, it is time to move to the next step. If less than 90 percent of your microgreens have germinated, recover your microgreens with your inverted tray and wait another day to give any stragglers a chance to germinate.
Once your endive microgreens have germinated, it is time to turn on your grow lights. Your grow lights should be set approximately 12 inches above your grow trays. Once you turn the lights on, you will leave them on throughout the growth process.
These lights are designed to activate the photosynthesis process, which is what causes your endive microgreens to develop the beautiful green color you are accustomed to. In addition to this, grow lights ensure your microgreens grow evenly as they stretch toward the light.
Circulation fans are designed to gently blow a breeze across the tops of your microgreens to reduce the risk of mold and mildew. When setting up your fans, make sure that they blow horizontally across your microgreens rather than downwardly or diagonally. Just like grow lights, you will leave the circulation fans on continuously through the remainder of the growing process.
Throughout the growing process, you will need to check the moisture level of your growing medium daily. Depending on the humidity level in your house, you may need to water twice daily. If your growing medium is dry, add one cup of water to the bottom tray and allow the growing medium to soak up the water for 30 minutes. If any water is left in the bottom tray after this time, pour it off to help reduce the risk of mold.
Most people find that the ideal harvest time for endive microgreens is 10 days; however, they can be harvested between 8 and 15 days after germination has occurred. Daily tasting of your microgreens from day 8 on will help you determine when your microgreens are ready for harvest.
After you have determined that it is time to harvest your microgreens, withhold watering for 12 hours before harvesting. This will help ensure that your microgreens are crisp and maximize the optimal storage time of your microgreens.
You will need a sharp knife or a sharp pair of scissors to harvest your microgreens. If your scissors or knife is not sharp, you will bruise the microgreens while harvesting, which will reduce optimal storage times.
Grasp the microgreens loosely in one hand and cut right above the soil level. Place cut microgreens on a paper towel. Work as quickly as possible. The faster you can get the microgreens refrigerated, the better.
If you will be eating your endive microgreens immediately, plunge your cut microgreens into a cool water bath. Swirl to remove any sediment and then place on a paper towel to air dry.
If you will be storing your microgreens, do not expose them to water. You must keep your microgreens as dry as possible and follow the instructions listed below.
Endive microgreens can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week when properly handled and packaged. Once you have harvested your microgreens, gently wrap them in a clean, dry paper towel and place them in a sealed storage bag or storage container. Then, place it in your vegetable drawer in your refrigerator. The paper towel will absorb any moisture to keep your microgreens crisp and fresh until you are ready to eat them.
When you are ready to eat your endive microgreens, remove them from the refrigerator and place your microgreens in a cool water bath. Swirl the microgreens to remove any sediment and allow to air dry on a clean paper towel.
Endive microgreens are a great way to add freshness and a bold flavor to your favorite dishes. These easy-to-grow microgreens have a slightly bitter flavor that adds depth and interest to your favorite dishes. Add them to a bowl of soup, a microgreen salad, or a sandwich.