Endives are often confused with chicory, and they are extremely similar – but they are in fact different. This leafy salad vegetable may have slightly bitter taste, but the benefits it can have on your health are sweet indeed: They’re a great source of vitamins (such as A, K, and B) and minerals (including manganese, copper, iron, and potassium), while the endive is also said to contain anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. They are reportedly one of the most difficult vegetables to grow, and are known as a bit of a delicacy.
How do you use it?
Endives can be enjoyed both raw and cooked, but they’re delicious used in more ways than just tossed into a salad. One of our personal favourite ways to use them is as a sort of lighter taco shell with taco stuffing, but they can also be baked into tarts (delicious with ham and a sharp cheese such as Gruyère), served with a combination of goat’s cheese or feta with nuts and some sort of sweet fruit such as grapes or raisins, or with rocket, balsamic vinegar and Manchego cheese. They also make a uniquely tasty vegetable tarte tatin, and they are delicious when roasted and drizzled with either a sharp or a creamy, cheesy sauce, accented with crunchy nuts such as walnuts. Pop them into soups, braise them, or cook them into hash – just remember to always pair them with a variety of opposing flavours to bring out the best in them.
This veggie didn’t actually come about through entirely natural origins: As the story goes, this plant comes from the same family as the chicory, but when one man had accidentally left some chicory roots in his cellar, he realised that they had sprouted some delicious leaves. In Belgium, they’ve been nicknamed “white gold”.