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Frisée

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Fresh frisée

Fresh frisée

David Bishop Inc. / Getty Images

In the culinary arts, the word frisée (pronounced "free-ZAY") is used to refer to a variety of endive with curly, pale-green or yellowish leaves.

The catalog of leafy vegetables that go by the name endive can be somewhat vast and bewildering, and not always accurate. Frisée is sometimes called curly endive or chicory. But unlike some endives, frisée does not have a cylindrical shaped leaf but is rather shaggy and bushy. Frisée is similar to, but has smaller leaves than, escarole.

Like escarole, frisée is frequently used in salads. While it can have a slightly bitter flavor, frisée is much milder than other varieties of endive such as radicchio or Belgian endive.

A traditional dish featuring frisée is the classic Frisée aux Lardons, which is standard fare in the typical French cafe or bistro. It's made by blanching bacon and then dicing and browning it, and then combining it with olive oil, mustard and lemon juice to form a vinaigrette.

The frisée is tossed with the vinaigrette, and then served topped with a poached egg and shaved Gruyère cheese, along with toasted croutons.

Also Known As:

  • Chicory
  • Endive
  • Curly endive
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