Provencal Endive Salad


Belgian endive salad with a vinaigrette with olive oil, sherry vinegar, garlic, and anchovies.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

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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.

endive on their roots

Endives are grown in France, Belgium, and also 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.

provencal endive salad

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.


  • 6 heads of Belgian endive
  • 2-3 Tbsp extra virgin 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


1 Make the dressing: 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 Prep the endives: 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 Toss endive with dressing: 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.

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Endive in the Wikipedia

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

Endive and Celery Salad with Fennel Vinaigrette from Smitten Kitchen

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

22 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

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  3. Guy

    You’re welcome Steve-Anna, I hope you enjoy it.

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  4. 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!

  5. 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.

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