There’s something about serving endives that makes a meal feel like a special occasion. The sleek pale green leaves, perfectly curved to hold fillings, can be elegantly displayed on a plate without much effort.
Aside from its role as a chic dipper, endives are also delicious as the star of a dish. Sliced in a salad, braised with a nutty vinaigrette, roasted to perfection – endives lend just the right amount of bitterness to side dishes and are perfect sitting next to fish or chicken.
Endives are pretty much available all year, with their peak season being between fall and spring. When choosing your endives, look for heads that are plump, crisp and blemish-free. If you are looking for Belgian endives, choose heads that have a yellow-green tip. Red endives tend to be smaller, but the same criteria apply – you want crisp, firm and brightly coloured. Avoid endives that look wilted or have brown spots.
Storing Your Endives
Once you get your endives home, store them in your fridge’s crisper, wrapped in a damp paper towel, inside a plastic bag. This will keep your heads fresh for 10 to 14 days.
Preparing Your Endives
Before using, make sure to rinse them under cold water. This also works if you see the leaves have begun to wilt. Just soak them a little longer in cold water to bring them back to life.
Crunchy Endive Ricotta Cups
½ cup unsalted almond, toasted ½ cup golden raisins 2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil Coarse sea salt, to taste Fresh black pepper, to taste 4 endives, trimmed and leaves separated ½ cup light ricotta
1. In a small bowl, combine the almonds, raisins, chives, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and adjust seasonings to taste. 2. Add a tablespoon or so of ricotta to each endive leaf and top with a small spoonful of the almond-raisin mixture. 3. Arrange beautifully on a plate and enjoy!
Roasted Endives with Crunchy Walnut Vinaigrette
Adapted from Food 52 Serves 8
12 endives, trimmed and halved 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil Coarse sea salt 2 tbsp white wine vinegar 1 tsp Dijon mustard ½ tsp coconut sugar 6 tbsp walnut oil ¼ cup walnut, toasted and roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 2. Arrange the endives on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Toss to evenly coat and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. 3. In a small bowl, combine the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, coconut sugar, walnut oil and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 4. When endives are roasted, remove from the oven and arrange on a serving dish. Top with the walnut vinaigrette. Serve any remaining vinaigrette on the side for those who want a little more.
Roasted Potato Endive Salad
Adapted from naturallyella.com Serves 4
1 lb small red potatoes 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 tsp smoked paprika ½ tsp garlic powder ¼ tsp sea salt 3 red endives 2 cups arugula, packed 1 cup cooked quinoa 1/3 cup almonds, toasted and roughly chopped 2 ounces light feta cheese
Vinaigrette 3 tbsp extra-virgin oil oil 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp honey Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1. Start by roasting the potatoes. Preheat oven to 400° and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the potatoes until just tender, about 5-6 minutes, then toss in a baking dish with 1 tbsp olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and roast until slightly brown, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. 2. Trim the ends from the endives and chop into thin slices. Place in a alrge bowl and add the arugula, quinoa, almonds and feta. Add the potatoes and toss to combine. 3. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Add to the salad when ready to serve.
Note: This is a great salad to make ahead of time for lunch the next day. Just make sure to add the vinaigrette only when ready to serve to avoid the arugula from getting soggy.
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