Frisee Endive

Curly Endive or frisée has narrow, green, curly outer leaves.  The outside leaves of an endive head are green and bitter while the inner leaves are light green to creamy-white and milder flavoured.  It has a slightly peppery or nutty taste. Endive can be used in salad mixtures with blander-flavoured lettuce for a salad with a "little bite".   Endive is rich in many vitamins and minerals, especially in folate and vitamins A and K, and is high in fiber.

Storage: If you plan to keep the endive for a few days,  rinse it in cold water and shake it before putting it into a fairly large open bag or wrapping it in a damp cloth and popping it into the vegetable crisper.

General Use: Endive can be eaten raw in salads, sautéed, braised with onions, wine, and broths, grilled, or added to soups.  It makes wonderful winter salads dressed with a strong mustard dressing or a walnut oil and balsamic vinegar dressing or a fruity olive oil, garlic lemon and sea salt dressing. They go particularly well with beetroot, chicken, blue cheese, goats cheese, walnuts, cooked or cured pork, chicken livers, grated carrots and raw onions.

Salad: Place endive leaves on individual salad plates. Crumble blue cheese over them and sprinkle with onion. Drizzle over a vinaigrette of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Try it country style with bacon bits, croutons and garlic (or try adding a hard-boiled egg).

Italian style with a vinaigrette of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and garlic… and with some dandelions!

Steamed: Steam the endive for about 8 minutes with some apple wedges.  Drizzle with oil and lemon juice, season with fine sea salt and cinnamon.

Sautéed: Wash and dry the endive, trim and discard the base. Fry garlic in olive oil for about 20 seconds. Fry endive very quickly in the garlic oil, tossing constantly until it just wilts (about 15 seconds).  Add black pepper and parmesan, toss until parmesan starts to melt.  Add lemon juice then serve.

Other: Try adding finely chopped endive to your next pot of mashed potatoes.