Plain escarole is an annual and biannual plant belonging to the Asteraceae family, which botanical name is Cichoriumendivia L. The escarole belongs to the same botanical kind as the chicory.
It has a pivot and short root, with little branching. The leaves are arranged in rosette spread out in the beginning. They never form balls, but there are varieties in which the leaves born very tight and it leads to natural bleaching. It was impossible to demonstrate if the varieties if this sort of cultivation have origins in the Southern Asia or the Mediterranean because they were cultivated for centuries in both areas. It was known and consumed by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. As many vegetables, the escarole initially has more medicinal than culinary use. Nevertheless, in the Egyptian literature there are references about cooked and raw consumption of this vegetable in the salad.