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Veggie Endive Recipes Make Great Sides, Salads and More

Add flair to your next family celebration or holiday by using this versatile vegetable in a variety of dishes

Take the stress out of holiday entertaining by using festive recipes that rely more on your flair than your time. Endive (say on-deev) fits the bill! The white and red varieties make an immediate style statement with minimal effort. And, at only one calorie per spear, endive is truly the "slimmer dipper," a more wholesome choice than crackers or salty chips.

A versatile vegetable developed in Belgium but now California grown, endive can come to the table either hot or cold. And its glamorous aura is a remarkably practical choice: less expensive pound-for-pound than most bagged salad mixes, longer lasting (up to 14 days if kept in moist paper towels in a plastic bag), and all but effortless – there's no need to wash it or spin it dry. Its captivating bittersweet flavor has made endive a complement to apples, pears, nuts, smoked fish and roast meats. Try these four recipes!

Endive with Roasted Red Pepper Feta Spread

Makes 1 1/3 cups spread, to serve 8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. Greek or French feta, in small chunks
  • 1/2 large roasted red bell pepper, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, or more if needed
  • 2 dozen white and red endive spears for dipping
  • Fresh dill sprigs, for garnish
  • Kalamata olives, for garnish

Directions

Put feta, bell pepper and garlic in food processor and blend, adding just as much olive oil as needed to make a smooth puree. Transfer spread to serving platter or bowl and surround with endive spears. Garnish with dill sprigs and olives.

Endive with Mexican Shrimp Salad

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

Dressing:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, very finely minced
Salt

Salad:
1/2 lb. cooked and peeled baby shrimp
1/2 cup radishes, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 ripe but firm avocado, in small dice
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, plus whole leaves for garnish
Minced serrano or jalapeno chile, to taste
1/2 lime
18-20 endive spears

Directions

For dressing: In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt to taste.

In medium bowl, combine shrimp, radishes, avocado, green onion, chopped cilantro, chile and a generous squeeze of limejuice. Add dressing and toss gently with your hands. Taste for salt and lime.

Divide mixture among endive spears. Garnish each spear with a whole cilantro leaf. Serve immediately.

Endive and Beet Salad with Candied Walnuts

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 medium red beets, greens removed
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water

Candied walnuts:

  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup walnut halves or pieces

Dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Salt and pepper

Endive:

  • 4 large endives, preferably 2 white and 2 red

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put beets in small baking dish with garlic, wine vinegar and water. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake until beets are tender when pierced, 45 to 60 minutes. Peel while warm. Let cool, then cut into small cubes.

For walnuts: Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In bowl, stir together sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Bring small pot of water to boil over high heat. Add walnuts and boil for 1 minute. Drain in a sieve. While they are still slightly damp, add walnuts to bowl with spiced sugar and stir to coat evenly. Spread walnuts on parchment paper and bake until they are fragrant and sugar has melted, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

For dressing: In small bowl, whisk together oil, wine vinegar, shallot and salt and pepper to taste. Add enough dressing to beets to coat them lightly.

Slice endives crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide pieces. Discard ends. Put endive in bowl and toss with remaining dressing. Arrange on serving platter. Scatter beets over endives, then scatter candied walnuts over all. Serve immediately.

Endive Baked with Mustard, Thyme and Cream

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 6 medium endives
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut endives in half lengthwise. Use some of the butter to grease bottom of baking dish just large enough to hold endives in a single layer. Put endives in baking dish, cut side down. Dot with rest of butter. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake until tender when pierced, about 45 minutes.

In small saucepan, combine cream, broth, mustard, thyme, salt and a large pinch of black pepper. Whisk to blend. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat and simmer gently until mixture has reduced to 1/2 cup. Keep warm.

Remove endives from oven and turn them cut side up. Preheat broiler and position a rack 12 inches from element. Pour reduced cream mixture over endives. Broil until endives are richly browned and sauce has thickened. Set aside for about 5 minutes to cool slightly, then remove thyme sprigs, garnish with parsley and serve.

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