Provencal Endive Salad

Belgian endive (correctly pronounced “on-DEEV”, though most people around here say, “N-dive” and good luck getting them to change) is a lettuce-like vegetable that is often used with the leaves acting as little boats, to hold appetizer tidbits. The leaves are delicate tasting, just slightly bitter, exquisite. Belgian endive is a chicory, like radicchio or curly endive, that commercially is grown completely indoors, away from light, in order to result in the delicate leaves we enjoy. Exposed to light, the leaves turn green and become much more bitter. They grow like a forced bulb on top of a large root the size of a fat carrot.

Endives with Roots on Simply Recipes

Endives are grown in France, Belgium, and also now in California. This recipe is a favorite of my French friend Guy (pronounced “Gee” with a hard “G”) who grew up in Provence, and whose mother made this salad for the family every Saturday. It’s a simple preparation—thickly sliced endive leaves tossed in an anchovy and garlic vinaigrette. The anchovies are key. They are what make this salad “Provencal” as anchovies can be found in so many preparations in Provence. Also anchovies are an umami bomb, and are the perfect complement to the slightly bitter endive leaves.

Do you use endives in your cooking, or do you have a favorite endive salad? Please let us know about it in the comments.

Provencal Endive Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.

Whole salt preserved anchovies are preferred, but you can also use anchovy paste, perhaps a couple teaspoons, or more to taste, mixed in with the dressing.

Ingredients

  • 6 heads of Belgian endive
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic
  • 6 to 12 small oil-packed salted anchovy fillets (jarred or canned), to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 In a large serving bowl, stir the minced garlic into the olive oil. Roughly chop the anchovy fillets and add them to the oil. Add the salt and pepper and the sherry vinegar.  Let the dressing sit and the oil infuse while you prep the endives (about 5 minutes).

2 Strip off and discard any outer tired leaves from the endives. Cut off and discard the hard root end of the endives. Slice the endives crosswise into 1-inch wide pieces. Cut the core end, if thick, into halves or quarters.

3 Add the chopped endive leaves to the serving bowl with the dressing, and toss gently until all of the endive leaves are lightly coated in the dressing.

Serve immediately.

Links:

Endive in the Wikipedia

How to grow Belgian Endive from Kitchen Gardeners International

Chicken, Apple, and Gorgonzola Salad on Endive from Gimme Some Oven

Endive and Satsuma Mandarin Salad from Healthy Green Kitchen

Endive and Celery Salad with Fennel Vinaigrette from Smitten Kitchen

 

Endive Salad on Simply Recipes

32 Comments

  1. Judith

    My favorite endive salad features endive, walnuts, stilton and pears. Dressing can be as simple as orange juice and olive oil. This can also be served as an appetizer with the endive leaves used as containers for cheese, nuts and a slice of pear. Pears must be ripe and fruity.

  2. Carolina

    When I lived in France and wanted to eat a salad in like 30 seconds, I used to mix chopped endives with little dices of pre-cooked beets and sweet corn, with a balsamic dressing.

  3. Torsten

    Endive is also available in Germany (and called “Chicoree” here). Our favoutie endive salad recipe is with slices of apple and a dressing made from apple juice, oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard and some honey for the sweetness that perfectly fites with the bitterness of the endives. It is quickly made and we often serve it with a barbecue.

  4. Fabrice

    In France, where I grew up, endives are used either raw or cooked. I love making endive salads, mixed with all kinds of things depending on my mood (chopped nuts, sesame seeds, cheese, apples, sliced mushrooms…) with a mustard vinaigrette. Very quick to make and tasty.
    I remember making a fondue d’endives that was quite amazing, smooth and sweet that went very well with sea scallops.
    I make also endives au gratin, very easy recipe my Mom used to make and so good.

  5. reen

    This is both the first time I’m going to try endive, and the first time I’ve encountered the term “umami.” Thanks for both!

  6. Bob

    I like to keep the leaves whole and fill each one with goat cheese and a sprinkle of pignole nuts, then sprinkle a good balsamic dressing over it. You can pick the leaves up with your fingers if you aren’t too finicky!

  7. tita

    Apart from tasting wonderful raw in salads, endives also make a great gratin just as you would do leek stalks. Blanch, then wrap in ham slices and add béchamel sauce. Cover with grated cheese and bake for about 30 minutes. Bon appétit.

  8. Intrepid Cook

    I love the flavor of endives and often make a salad with endives, roasted beets, crumbly goat cheese, maple roasted pecans and balsamic vinaigrette. I will have to try your recipe the next time.

  9. Chelsey Halley

    I love endive too…my fav way is to braise it. Jamie Oliver has an absolutely amazing recipe that browns quaretered endive in butter and fresh thyme and then braises it in orange juice. Its heavenly.

  10. Sandy S.

    You guys rock! Everybodies recipes sound so tempting. I may be eating endive for the rest of the month. Please keep the wonderful fresh vegi recipes coming Elise! They are shaking up these winter months and very much appreciated.

  11. Cath

    Went to Webster to see if it is, in fact pronounced that way (on – deev) but Webster says nope, it’s – N Dive. Just like we say it. Yep, I won’t be changing the way I say it. Good looking salad will be trying it this weekend. Mmmm, N DIVE.
    ;)

  12. kristi

    My favorite endive salad is from a Cooking Light magazine years ago. It is Endive stuffed with goat cheese and walnuts. It is a great appetizer and also has honey and oranges in it. My husband always asks for it :)

  13. Angelina

    I haven’t had endive more than once or twice and it seemed bitter to me. I’m not a big fan of bitter vegetables. Still – that was quite a long time ago. Perhaps it’s time to try it again.

    Pronouncing it “on-DEEV” makes me feel self conscious. It sounds very poncy if you’re speaking English and you pepper your speech with correctly pronounced foreign words. “On-DEEV” sounds French. I speak French and if I was talking to a French person I would want to pronounce it how French people pronounce it while speaking French with them. It’s like if you try pronouncing “Paris” the way Parisians do while speaking English – it doesn’t sound right.

    • Pam

      Thank you for posting this recipe! I am having a recipe sampling in a few days and will be featuring endive. Though my recipes have already been selected, this still looks awesome and so worth the time required for prep. Endive is also wonderfully nutritious – so keep those recipes coming. I WILL use your recipes in the samplings again (as I have in the past – complete w/ giving credit where credit is due…)

  14. Phil

    Hi,

    Thanks for this nice recipe, I’ll try soon.
    May I add that “endive” pronounces as [ɑ̃: div] in fact ?

    Kind regards

  15. Mills

    My salade aux endives includes toasted pine nuts, dried cherries or cranberries, cubes of tomme, comté or beaufort cheese and a balsamique vinaigrette. Delicious!

  16. Alanna

    Are you growing endive yourselves in the garden? I’ve never seen the “below ground” part before, it’s so pricey in the grocery stores that I seldom buy it. But I do love-love-love to use endive as “spoons” for little bits of salad or crabmeat or ricotta cheese. Very pretty on a plate, so long as you’re not serving too many!

    • Elise

      Hi Alanna, I received a few whole endives as a gift from the endive trade association here. I did end up planting one of the roots, after I had cut off the leaves. It is growing another batch of leaves, but because the leaves are exposed to light, they are quite green and quite bitter.

  17. Sarah

    I just stumbled across this recipe, so forgive me for my very belated comment.

    My Dutch mother-in-law introduced me to this salad from her childhood in the Netherlands, and it’s now a family favorite: three endives sliced into 1/4″ circles, three hard cooked eggs diced small, mustard vinagairette, salt and pepper to taste, then gently tossed. It is sublime, and I could eat an entire bowl by myself!

    Everyone’s suggestions including the featured recipe look divine, and endive is at the top of this week’s grocery list.

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