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What is Belgian Endive?

The delicate-looking and slightly bitter Belgian endive, which is native to its namesake nation, appears frequently in salads, particularly those inspired by French cuisine. Although chefs adore it, dismissing it as just a fancy salad green ignores the reality that it is also delicious baked, grilled, braised, or served raw on a crudités plate. It’s truly that adaptable.

Belgian Endive

Belgian endiveBelgian Endive is a chicory variety. It has slender, cream-white leaves with yellow ends that grow in a compact, tight baton shape and connect at the top. It’s made from a Chicory species that are similar to but not the same as the one used for its roots. The leaves are crisp and slightly bitter or acidic in taste. The French call these small batons “chicos,” and each one will be between 10 and 15 centimetres tall.

What is Belgian Endive?

Belgian endive is a compact, cylindrical head of lettuce with pale yellow leaves that are densely packed and have somewhat curling edges (approximately 6 inches in length). It’s mildly bitter, and it’s grown just beneath the earth in dark rooms, similar to mushrooms, to conserve its pale colour and delicate flavour. It’s a beautiful green, but it’s not inexpensive, given its import status and labour-intensive harvesting methods. However, if you want to serve something unusual with your roasted chicken or fish, it makes a surprisingly wonderful side dish that adds a layer of complexity to your meal.

How to Cook with Belgian Endive?

Cleaning and preparing Belgian endive is a breeze. Simply cut off the stem and remove a couple of the outer leaves before continuing with your dish preparation. It can be chopped and used in salads, or cooked whole and baked as a side dish. Separate the leaves and use them as an appetizing dish for tiny snacks or dippers. Endive heads can be drizzled with vinaigrette and cooked, making them an excellent accompaniment to grilled fish.
Another type is red endive, often known as radicchio, which is spherical and has deep crimson or variegated leaves, making it a favourite in salads for colour and flavour. Radicchio is also delicious roasted (for example, in a pasta dish) or sautéed. Because it’s hardy and has a bitter undertone, it can also be used in raw salads like slaw.

Taste 

Belgian endive, for example, might be a bit of an acquired taste, but any bitter green can serve as a counterbalance to other sweet and sour elements in a meal. Belgian endive has a crisp texture, a refined, even posh appearance, and a slightly bitter flavour. Cooking changes the flavours, softening and smoothing them out.

What is Belgian Endive Good for?

Here are some health benefits of Belgian endive:

Endive is a Low Caloric Food that Helps with Weight Loss

Endive is a well-known low-calorie vegetable that is also recognized to aid weight loss. The explanation for this is that 50g of chopped Endive contains only 8.6 calories, which is startlingly low! Above that, half a cup of Endive has a glycemic load of 0. Endive’s low or absent glycemic load is ideal for patients with high blood sugar levels. Endive is unquestionably one of the best meals for weight loss due to all of these features.

Vitamin K is Found Abundantly in Endive

Vitamin K is required for physiological function since it aids in blood coagulation and overall health. Vitamin K is also utilized to prevent cancer, in addition to preventing osteoporosis later in life. Endive, on the other hand, is a vitamin K-rich vegetable that can help with vitamin K deficiency.
With a daily requirement of 90mcg of vitamin K, 0.08 heads of Endive would be sufficient. When compared to other veggies such as kale and spinach, endive comes out on top!

Endive Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels and Prevent Diabetes

Several types of research have been undertaken on high fibre foods, such as endive, and diabetes prevention. When it comes to lowering blood sugar and cholesterol, endive is a must-have! Polyphenols in endive help keep arteries and blood vessels flexible.
Not only that, but Endive is high in vitamin B9! Vitamin B9 is quite beneficial in the treatment of high blood pressure.

Endive Ensures Good Bowel Movements

Endive is a vegetable that never ceases to astonish; it aids in improving the frequency and quality of bowel motions. Many experts advise patients suffering from constipation to increase their intake of endive! Endive, as we all know, is a good source of fibre, which is necessary for regular stool passage. Endive is a high-fibre meal that aids in the removal of unwanted nutrients from the body. Overall, endive is an important component of any balanced diet!

Endive Helps Promote a Healthy Pregnancy

Endive has been credited with making many pregnant women’s lives easier and more pleasant. Endive is a healthy method to acquire your daily dose of folic acid, which is essential for healthy pregnancies. But why is Endive so beneficial to pregnant women?
Because folic acid, also known as folate, is a type of vitamin B that is rich in Endive! Folate is essential because it aids in the prevention of a variety of birth abnormalities. So, if you’re expecting a baby, stock up on endive right now!

You Should be Using Endive as Skincare!

Endive is not only tasty, but it also helps with excellent skincare. Endive, as you may know, has a wide range of medicinal benefits. So, having stated that, have you ever considered using Endive as skincare? Squeezing endive juice is a terrific way to incorporate Endive into your beauty routine. It has been shown to remove blemishes and prevent outbreaks in the future! Many skincare lovers keep a vial of endive juice on hand for those days when their skin is acting up.

Endive Lessens the Severity of Insomnia

Endive may be able to assist those who suffer from insomnia. Endive has been shown to aid with insomnia over time. Endive is high in fibre and contains a lot of vitamin C, which helps you sleep! Endive can be used as a topping over grilled foods or added to salads. Who knows, perhaps such a minor adjustment will allow you to have a better night’s sleep.

Where to Buy Belgian Endive?

Belgian Endive

Because of its particular colour, shape, and texture, this endive is rather easy to detect when purchased intact and not bagged. Its regular season, like that of all chicories, is fall and winter, therefore you might see it at markets throughout that time. Endive is normally available all year in grocery shops, and radicchio occasionally appears in salad greens mixes. Look for crisp, tight leaves that are white to pale yellow in hue. You don’t want a wilted head with drooping leaves or browning around the edges.

Storage

Don’t be fooled by the delicate appearance of Belgian endive. It should last at least a week if stored unwashed in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. Radicchio, or red endive, lasts a little longer.

Top 8 Ways to Enjoy Belgian Endive

Belgian Endive

Here are 8 ways to enjoy Belgian endive:

  1. Ceviche- Instead of traditional ceviche made with seafood try our Artichoke Ceviche in Belgian Endive recipe.
  2. The Endive Bake- Place halved endives on a baking sheet, brush with a small amount of butter and top with low-fat cheese and nutmeg. Bake at 400° F until lightly browned (about 10 minutes).
  3. Soup du Jour- Try adding Belgian endives in place of cabbage and other chicory vegetables to any of your favourite soup recipes!
  4. Sautéed- Sauté endives in olive oil. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon and salt and pepper to the flavour. This is a perfect bed for salmon or other grilled fish.
  5. Great on the Grill- Brush each endive with olive oil then grill until browned and slightly wilted on the grilled side. Top with balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and toasted walnuts. This is a great healthy side dish to add to any meal.
  6. Julienne Them- Slice the endive into thin strips and add to any of your favourite salads.
  7. Turbocharged Stir-Fry- Easily increase vitamins and minerals by adding endives to your favourite stir fry. Check out our stir-fry video to see how easy it is!
  8. Endives Instead of Lettuce- Anywhere you would put lettuce you can put endive leaves! They’re great on top of deli sandwiches or panini … or in this Corner Kick Pita Pocket.

Conclusion

Endive is a puzzling and challenging vegetable in general. It can refer to any of the bitter-flavoured plants in the chicory family, not simply one type of green. The other two fundamental kinds for cooking are curly endive (frisée) and broad-leafed endive (escarole). Frisée is an easily recognized broad crown of curly greens with lacy leaves. It has the look of a tangled mane on the dish, which creates an interesting visual contrast to the other things served with it. Frisée is a somewhat bitter green that is commonly used for texture and flavour in salads, but it can also be sautéed. To make matters even more complicated, in the United Kingdom, frisée is simply referred to as endive.