Endive vs. Red Cabbage: 5 Key Differences

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Although they look surprisingly similar side by side, there are many differences between chicory and red cabbage. Both crops are popular and are found in a variety of cuisines and dishes, but what sets them apart from each other and what unites them? If you're interested in cooking with chicory or red cabbage, you're in the right place!

In this article, we will compare and contrast chicory and red cabbage so that you can fully understand the differences between them. We'll review what they look like and all the different ways they're used around the world. Finally, we'll discuss the nutritional value of these two vegetables in case you're interested in incorporating them into your diet. Let's get started now!

Comparing Chicory and Red Cabbage

Endive vs Red Cabbage
Endive and purple cabbage belong to different botanical families.

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endive red cabbage
Classification chicory folio Cabbage head f. red
describe Round purple-red vegetable with loosely compacted leaves. The leaves are covered with white veins and are waxy and hard. It is bitter and strong when eaten raw, but mellow when cooked. Round purple-red vegetable consisting of compact leaves. When chopped or cut, it is dense and heavy with white inner leaves. The peppery and floral flavors become sweeter when roasted or sautéed.
use Popular in many Italian dishes, including risotto. Can be roasted, sautéed, eaten raw, and the root can also be eaten in place of coffee It can be eaten raw, sautéed, stir-fried, grilled, marinated and more. Needs to be cooked with care as the red color of the leaves can bleed into other food or water
Nutrition Information Rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin E and Antioxidants Rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Iron
special function According to Pliny the Elder, used to help insomniacs fall asleep! Purple cabbage pigment is used to dye some things, including medicines!

Key Differences Between Endive and Purple Cabbage

Chicory vs Red Cabbage
Endive leaves are more bitter and brittle compared to the pepper leaves of red cabbage.

©iStock.com/A_Lein

There are a number of key differences between chicory and red cabbage. For example, chicory and red cabbage belong to different plant families. Additionally, endive leaves are covered in white veins, while red cabbage leaves are more uniform overall. Finally, chicory root can be used as a coffee substitute while red cabbage root cannot.

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Let us now discuss all these differences in more detail.

Chicory vs Red Cabbage: A Breakdown

Despite their similar appearance, red cabbage and endive belong to different botanical families. For example, chicory is in the Asteraceae family, while purple cabbage is in the cruciferous family. In detail, chicory is further classified as Cichorium intybus var. foliosum , while red cabbage is classified as Brassica oleracea var. head of F. rubra , making them a unique variety within a particular plant family.

Endive vs Red Cabbage: Description

Chicory vs Red Cabbage
Chicory is widely used in Italian cuisine, while red cabbage is widely used around the world.

©iStock.com/MamaMiaPL

Given that both purple cabbage and radicchio have distinctive red leaves, it can be difficult to tell them apart when they are placed side by side. However, chicory leaves all have white veins, while red cabbage leaves do not. Additionally, endive leaves have a more waxy texture compared to the glossy leaves on red cabbage.

When eaten raw, chicory leaves are more bitter and crunchy compared to the pepper leaves of red cabbage. However, both vegetables mellow out when cooked and have a sweeter overall flavor, making them a popular culinary choice for radicchio and red cabbage!

Endive vs. Red Cabbage: Uses

Chicory vs Red Cabbage
Given its relationship to chicory, endive root can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute, whereas red cabbage is not used for this purpose.

© iStock.com/sirichhai_asawalapsakul

When it comes to their culinary uses, both chicory and red cabbage are commonly cooked in a variety of ways. For example, chicory is widely used in Italian cuisine, while red cabbage is widely used around the world. Red cabbage is popular in coleslaw and steamed, while radicchio is popular in risotto and stir-fry.

One thing worth noting about purple cabbage and chicory is that their beautiful red color bleeds into everything else you're cooking. It's important to remember this so you can prepare them properly. Finally, given how chicory is related to chicory, the root of chicory can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute, whereas red cabbage is not used for this purpose.

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Endive vs. Red Cabbage: Nutritional Information

Both chicory and purple cabbage contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that can provide you as part of a healthy, balanced diet. For example, chicory is rich in vitamin K and vitamin E, while purple cabbage is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. Both options are high in fiber and low in carbs, and chicory and red cabbage are rich in antioxidants for their beautiful red color.

Chicory vs Red Cabbage: Featured

Chicory vs Red Cabbage
Chicory is rich in vitamin K and vitamin E, while red cabbage is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C.

© iStock.com/supamas lhakjit

When it comes to beautiful reds, chicory and purple cabbage are thus used for all sorts of special uses. For example, red cabbage is used to dye certain items in a natural way because of its bright red pigment. Centuries ago, chicory was considered a sedative and a natural remedy for insomnia. In fact, Pliny the Elder considered chicory a valuable plant for this very reason.

Regardless, chicory and red cabbage have a lot to offer the average home cook, including various vitamins and minerals. Whether or not they help you sleep is debatable, but chicory and red cabbage are both delicious vegetables to incorporate into your daily diet!

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featured image

Picture of fresh purple chicory id178888060

© iStock.com/A_Lein


about the author

august croft


I am a non-binary freelance writer working full time in Oregon. A graduate of Southern Oregon University with a BA in Theater and a major in Creative Writing, I have an interest in a variety of topics, especially the history of the Pacific Northwest. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping on the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my family's kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast-iron skillet.

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