Learn About Endive

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Endive?

Endive is a leafy vegetable.  There are two common types of endive: the curly endive and the Belgian endive.  A curly endive has curly bright green leaves on the exterior of the vegetable.  A Belgian endive is oblong with long, wide leaves.  At the root, the leaves are white and turn into a yellowish-green toward the end of the leaves.  This type of endive has sturdy, crunchy leaves.  High-quality Belgian endive has tight leaves around a sturdy base.

What Does Endive Taste Like?

Raw endive tastes bitter, similar to other leafy vegetables.  When cooked, its flavor sweetens and becomes somewhat nutty.

Learn About Endive
Fresh endive in a bright orange bowl.

How Do You Eat Endive?

Enjoy endive raw or cooked.  To prepare raw Belgian endive, pull the leaf near the root until the leaf separates from the vegetable.  Because of their sturdy texture and bitter flavor, endive leaves make up the base of salads.  Their crunchiness allows them to be a great substitute for chips and they work well with thick dips like hummus.  Common cooking methods for endive include searing, roasting, grilling, and braising.  Cheeses such as gruyère and goat cheese are common stuffings for endive leaves.  Endive leaves work well with different meats such as prosciutto, ham, and shrimp.

Where Can You Buy Endive?

Look for endive in the chilled area of the produce section of a well-stocked grocery store.  They are usually near lettuce, cabbages, or other leafy vegetables.

How Do You Store Endive?

Wrap endive in a damp paper towel and place it in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.  Endive may store in the refrigerator for up to a week.  Avoid washing the endive before storing it.

Fun Facts About Endive

Endive is related to chicory and radicchio.

Did You Know?

Endive is a difficult vegetable to grow because it goes through two different growing processes.

Recipes Using Endive

Stuffed Endive

Slice endive bulbs in half and pull some of the inner leaves out of the center. Place the halves on a baking sheet and stuff the hollowed area with goat cheese. Top the endive halves with olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano, then bake until the endive softens and the cheese becomes gooey.

Endive Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Create a tangy salad by using endive leaves. Start by washing and slicing endive leaves into smaller pieces. Toss with walnuts and place in a bowl. Mix a dressing using blue cheese, olive oil, honey, and Dijon mustard, then drizzle over the top of the salad.

Endive Chips and Dip

Use raw endive leaves to substitute for a crunchy tortilla chip. Make a tasty dip by blending avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper, jalapeño, and cilantro. Try using your endive leaves as a scoop!

Grilled Endive

Grilling endive brings out the tangy flavor. Cook them until they are tender and place on a plate. Create a vinaigrette with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Drizzle over the top of the hot endive and serve.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Endive

Make a tasty appetizer using thinly-sliced prosciutto. Cut endive into quarters set aside. Take a fresh slice of mozzarella cheese and hold it against a piece of endive. Then, wrap a piece of prosciutto around the cheese and endive and place on a serving platter.

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