All About Endives

Endive belongs to the chicory family, which includes several similar bitter leafed vegetables; such as radicchio, escarole, frisee and curly endive. Endive is rich in folate, and vitamins A and K, as well as fibre.

Endive has an interesting growing process. It must be kept completely underground or indoors to avoid sunlight, which turns the leaves green and causes them to open up. The leaves can be slightly bitter - the whiter the leaf, the less bitter the taste. To prevent bitterness, the hard inner part of the stem at the bottom of the head should be cut out prior to eating/cooking.

We've gathered five recipes below to help get you started in learning how to enjoy this hardy, year-round crop!

Stuffed Endives by Sarah Goldstein,

1 belgium endive
2 medium/large tomatoes
1/4 cup olives of choice (optional)
2 sprigs of green onion
1/4 cup parsley
salt & pepper

Break off whole pieces of endive and arrange on a plat as scoops. Chop tomatoes, olives, green onion and parsley. Combine in a bowl, add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon tomato mixture onto the endive scoops.

Creamy Belgian Endive Soup by Cooking's Good
Cookings Good - Creamy Belgian Endive Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
2 belgian endives, cored and chopped
1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
garlic clove, minced
1-3/4 cups vegetable broth
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup almond milk
dill or chives for garnish

Chop the endive, onions and garlic. Saute in the olive oil about 3 minutes. Add the broth and wine if using, otherwise 2 cups of broth and the chopped potatoes. Allow to simmer until the potatoes are soft. I let the soup cool down some before putting it into the food processor or blender. Process and pour back into the pot, add the almond milk and heat until hot. Adjust seasonings to your liking. Serve.

Endive, Pear & Chevre Tart by Food Babbles
Food Babbles - Endive Pear Chevre Tart

2 tbsp butter, divided
3 endives, quartered lengthwise with cores removed
2 tbsp fresh thyme
salt & pepper to taste
2-3 shallots, sliced
1 pear, cored and thinly sliced
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add the endive and saute until golden and tender. Add the thyme, salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes longer. Remove from pan and allow to cool. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and melt. Add the shallots. Cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Add the pears to the pan and saute until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Join the two puff pastry sheets together to form a large rectangle. Evenly scatter the shallots over dough being sure to leave a border. Next, evenly distribute the endive. Top with pears and sprinkle with goat cheese. Add a little water to the beaten egg. Brush border with egg wash. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Quinoa Boats by My Easy Gourmet
My Easy Gourmet - Quinoa Endive Boats

3/4 cup red quinoa
1 cucumber
1 tomato
1 pepper
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
2 shallots
1 pomegranate, seeded
A handful of almonds, crushed
Endive leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp tumeric
Salt & pepper

Wash the quinoa. In a medium pot, bring water to boil, add the quinoa, lower the heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Don't mix it with the veg while it's still hot. Cut the cucumber, tomato, pepper and onion into very small pieces. Prepare the dressing; mix the olive oil, lemon juice, tumeric powder, salt and pepper to taste. Crumble the ricotta cheese. Mix all the ingredients together and stir well to combine. Fill up the endives!

Caramelized Endives and Apples with Raisins and Walnuts adapted from Eat, Live, Travel, Write and French Fridays with Dorie
Eat, Live, Travel, Write

2 large unpeeled tart-sweet apples (such as Fuji or Gala)
1 1/2 tbsp salted butter
2 large heads of Belgian endive
A handful of raisins
A few walnuts
5 small fresh rosemary sprigs
Fleur de sel or other sea salt
2-3 tbsp water

Quarter and core apples. Using vegetable peeler, shave off thin strip of peel down center of each apple quarter, leaving remaining peel intact. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add endive, cut side down, to skillet. Add apple wedges, 1 cut side down, to skillet. Add rainins and scatter rosemary sprigs over; cook uncovered, without turning or stirring, until endive is caramelized on bottom and apples are just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully turn endive, apples and raisins over; baste with liquid in skillet and cook until apples are very tender, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Add walnuts and season with fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer endive mixture to platter. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water to skillet, scraping up any caramelized bits, forming small amount sauce. Spoon sauce over endive mixture and serve.