The Belgian endive takes on both tastes
Belgian endives, sometimes called white gold, are a versatile ingredient that can be served raw or cooked. When served raw, endives add a crisp, bitter element to dishes. When cooked, the bitterness of raw endives softens into a subtle sweetness.
Historically, endives were harvested for their roots, which were dried, ground and used to brew a dark, bitter, coffee-like beverage – chicory. As the story goes, in the mid-1800’s a farmer left his harvested crop of roots to dry in his cellar before leaving to fight in the Belgian War of Independence. Upon his return, he found that the moisture levels in storage were sufficient to cause the roots to sprout, producing tender, edible blanched leaves; which we now know as Belgian endive.
If you’re firing up the grill for dinner, try this simple endive salad to round out your meal!
4 heads Belgian endive, chopped (just halve if you’re planning on grilling)
6 small apricots, halved lengthwise, pitted
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and cracked pepper
1. Preheat grill over medium-high to high heat. Drizzle oil over cut side of apricot (you can grill the endive in the same fashion if you’d like). Grill, cut side down, for 1-2 minutes per side, or until charred, but still retaining its shape.
2. Combine endive, walnuts, goat cheese, grilled apricots in a large bowl
3. Combine vinegar, oil, and lemon juice in a small bowl, whisk until well blended.
4. Pour dressing over salad, mix until covered and toss to coat evenly.
5. Season with salt, cracked pepper, and fresh parsley.