Originally from Belgium, this vegetable is called Belgian endive in US English and Chicory in UK English. The slightly bitter vegetable was first grown near Brussels in the 19th century by trimming the leaves and forcing the roots to produce white-and-yellow leaves tightened like a cabbage. This vegetable that grows in the ground is never exposed to light exposure, which explains its pale color.
Belgian endive is nutritionally attractive: very light (15 calories per 100 grams), it contains potassium and vitamins (vitamins C, B1, B2, PP). Rich in fiber and water, Belgian endive helps regulate intestinal transit. Our Tip: Belgian endives are easier to digest, eaten cooked.
Belgian Endives can be stored a few days after purchase, in the refrigerator or in a cellar, wrapped in a paper bag. The leaves should be firm and tight, without any colored spots.
This winter vegetable replaces traditional green salads (which need water and sun to grow) from November to March. Belgian endives can be eaten both raw or cooked. It can have a bad reputation, especially among children who dislike its bitterness. Just scoop it out (with an apple corer for example) in order to remove the heart that is responsible for this particular taste.
You can eat Belgian endives like a green salad, seasoned with canola or walnuts oil, spices (turmeric, ginger, honey, cinnamon, coriander, etc.), walnuts, apples, pears, cheese, etc. It is delicious in sweet-salty alliances. Cooked, its soft texture accords with meat or fish. Belgian endives can be cooked in gratins (with ham an cheese), winter soup, or simply braised as a side dish.
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