Classic Endive Salad

This classic Belgian endive salad is drizzled with a vinaigrette with olive oil, sherry vinegar, garlic, and anchovies. It's the anchovies that give the salad a Provencal twist.

provencal endive salad
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.

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
Elise Bauer

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
Elise Bauer

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.

Classic Endive Salad

Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 4 servings

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 Belgian endive

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons 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 kosher salt

  • Pinch 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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
131 Calories
11g Fat
3g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 131
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 743mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 240mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.