Jade Family Farm, 11 years in business, produces certified organic vegetables and some tree fruit and berries. Located in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, it has about 125 acres stretching from a forested strip on the slopes of Tusarora Mountain down to the valley. About 10 acres are in vegetable production. We have a greenhouse for spring seedlings and three high tunnels (one awaiting assembly). We grow a variety of vegetables (tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, radishes, collards, kale, etc.). We sell to farmers markets in Hershey, Boalsburg, and State College, Pennsylvania and to the Tusarora Organic Growers co-operative. Our 100 member CSA delivers to Harrisburg and State College. John Eisenstein farms full time, with assistance from other members of his family. He writes and speaks well. His father, James Eisenstein, a retired Penn State professor who helped write this proposal, works about three days a week and his mother helps in the packing room, does some harvesting, and sells at two farmers markets. James has written a number of books, articles, and reports and is willing and able to produce the “how to” booklet. Jade Family Farm has a website, jadefamilyfarm.com, and a face book page (jadefamilyfarm). On Nov. 15th, 2014, Pennsylvania’s leading agricultural newspaper, Lancaster Farming, published a profile of John Eisenstein (http://www.lancasterfarming.com/Organic-Growers-Seek-Strength-Through-Diversity) that describes his operation and his commitment to sustainable agriculture. Like most small organic family farms in central Pennsylvania, the farm just about breaks even. The winter months, especially January through early March are difficult financially given very little income. There is little work to do then, so there is time available to produce chicons. This would make a direct and important contribution to the sustainability of the farm, as it would for other organic farmers who would be able to do the same.
For some small organic farms, winter income can be supplemented by relying on the information about how to grow Belgium Endive successfully that we will develop and make available The potential for generating income by selling it is promising. It is harvested when very few local greens exist. Adele Sofia Gemignani, National Produce Purchasing Manager for Albert’s Organics (the largest seller), emailed us that “Only a few growers that I know of grow Belgium Endive organically.“ Domestic grows enjoy a price advantage over imports. Our previous efforts found eager customers at our indoor winter farmers market, and the sales manager at the organic co-op to which we belong, Tusarora Organic Growers (TOG), informed us that Four Seasons, an organic wholesaler in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, charged wholesale customers $51.50 for a 24 count box of chicons. At the going rate of 70% of the wholesale price going to growers, this would come to $38.63 for 24 chicons, $1.61 each, or about $6.40 a pound. TOG told us that they would “sell like hotcakes,” and that they could move 10 boxes @24 per box a week. For the 2400 roots we plan to grow, wholesale income generated would approach $3,800.
We found no methods described for organic production, and descriptions of conventional methods call for using inputs prohibited for organic production, and also disagree on important details. We will strive to adhere to our project design as closely as possible, recognizing some changes are inevitable. We incorporate both hydroponic and soil-based forcing techniques. Hydroponic growing produces higher quality chicons, but it is easier for many growers to implement soil-forcing methods. Raised beds make for better growing and harvesting. Our raised beds are 30 inches wide and 200 feet long. Planting the rows four inches from the edge will allow for 22” between rows, well within the recommended 15” to 24” range. With a total of 800 feet of linear row, 3 plants per foot, we should harvest about 2400 roots. Two varieties will be seeded using a precision seeder randomly in blocks 50’ long at the rate of 14 seeds per foot. Too much nitrogen results in big leaves and small roots. We will add (organically approved) nitrogen carefully, plus phosphorus, potassium, and trace elements, and adjust pH to 5.5-6.5. We will plant Totem non-GMO organic seed from High Mowing seeds. Tan and Corey, HortScience 25 (11) recommend Faro for hydroponic forcing. We are searching for a source, but may have to substitute another variety. Belgian Endive germinates in soil temperatures of 50 degrees F or higher. We’ll test using a soil thermometer before planting, keep seed beds moist during germination, and thin seedlings to about 4” between plants. We will flame-weed once prior to emergence and hand- weed three times. Estimates of time to harvest range from 90 to 140 days. Planting too early reduces germination rates, risks fall bolting, and can lead to roots too big for optimum production. Given our average first frost date the first week of October, and assuming a 120 day growing period, we will sow 17 weeks before frost in early June (soil temperature permitting). Roots less than 0.6 inches in diameter will be discarded. Optimum root diameter is 1.5”, with 1.25”- 2” or even 2.25” acceptable. To test maturity, we will cut several roots vertically and look for the white tissue below the crown to be ¼” – 3/8” in diameter. Harvested roots will be handled carefully, and will remain in the field for 4 to 5 days protected from the sun and frost with straw. Leaves will be trimmed to about 1” from the crown and roots to about 8”, then placed unwashed and separated by variety in our cooler at just above 32 degrees with 96% to 98% humidity. Roots can be stored up to 14 weeks. We will begin weekly forcing in mid-December for 12 weeks, the last begun at the end of February. Since some roots won’t be suitable, the following estimates are approximate. Four hundred roots will be forced in a 1:1 sand/compost mix, 200 of each variety, following the methods described by Maynard and Hill, “How to Grow Belgian Endive in Connecticut”: roots will be closely packed, the 8” trimmed roots buried up to the crowns, and watered till thoroughly moist. Four square foot wooden boxes, 8” deep will be planted at the rate of about 2.45 sq inches per root, easily accommodating 200 roots per box. We will then cover the box with reemay row cover, to shield the growing chicons from 6” of insulation placed on the reemay, then plywood, then sand bags sufficient to apply one pound of pressure per root. The insulation keeps the soil a little warmer, and the pressure produces higher quality chicons. Forcing room air temperature will be between 55 and 65 degrees, 4 to 8 degrees higher than soil temperature, and air humidity kept at 90%. The remaining 2000 roots will be forced hydroponically, again with air and hydroponic solution temperatures as above. We tried hydroponic forcing in early 2014 using crude methods. Our technical advisor is familiar with hydroponic techniques, and we will rely on her advice in designing a low-cost hydroponic system. We aim to harvest 200 chicons per week for 12 weeks. Growing medium and air temperatures and the method of applying pressure to the growing chicons will mirror what is described above for soil based forcing. Nutrients will be added to water consistent with organic standards Outcome measures. COSTS: We will record in the “project record notebook” expenditures for seeds, organically approved amendments, materials to insulate the forcing room and construct the racks and boxes used to produce chicons, hydroponic equipment, a heater for the forcing room, boxes for storing roots and for packing chicons for market, and other miscellaneous outlays. We will photocopy and distribute a “How to grow organic Belgian in the Northeast” booklet. LABOR: We will record how long we spent on every step of the production process, from ordering seeds to delivery of chicons for market, as well as time spent in outreach. ROOT PRODUCTION: For each variety grown, number of seedling germinated per row foot, total weight of roots produced, percent of usable roots (1.25 – 2.25” diameter), and total weight of usable roots. Each of the preceding measurements will be calculated per square foot of growing bed. CHICON PRODUCTION: For each variety, total weight of harvested chicons per pound of root, total weight of marketable chicon per pound of root and percent of weight of harvested chicons that are of marketable quality. INCOME PRODUCED: For each variety, total income for market and wholesale sales, , income per pound of harvested root, income per pound of usable root, income per pound of harvested chicons, and income per foot row of plants The production and income measures will be compared to comparable data found in academic studies of conventional Belgian endive production as a baseline. OUTREACH: The number of requests for the “how to” booklet mailed and distributed at workshops and demonstrations, number of attendees at on-farm demonstration workshops, number of attendees at conference workshops; number of farms we know of planning to grow Belgian Endive.
In March, 2016, we will order our seed (High Mowing has organic seed for the Totem variety; we will search for “Faro”, and if unsuccessful substitute another variety). In April we will make the two raised planting beds using equipment we already own have (and used successfully for two years), test and amend the soil as indicated, fertilize as needed, and prepare the beds for seeding, Seeding will occur in early June after testing for soil temperature above 50 degrees. Belgian Endive germinates relatively slowly, so we will be able to flame-weed the beds before the seedlings emerge. After germination, we’ll install drip irrigation along each row. Seedlings will be thinned to four inches apart when they are 2” to 3” high. We will monitor weed growth and cultivate and hand weed three times before harvest when needed. Harvest will occur in early to mid October, using the same implement that we used very successfully on carrots in 2014 and 2015. We will trim the roots to 8”. After curing in the field (protected from the sun to prevent drying out), we will carefully pack the roots in boxes for storage in our cooler by the end of October… After our fall harvesting ends and before forcing begins in January, 2016, we will renovate and better insulate our existing forcing room, construct the wooden boxes to be used for soil forcing, construct the racks that will hold both these boxes and the hydroponic forcing units, and in consultation with our technical advisor, design the hydroponic forcing system and purchase the necessary supplies (a pump, water temperature controls, containers, tubing, etc.). In late December, we will prepare our sand/peat soil forcing mixture and set up our hydroponic system. We plan to begin forcing in early January, one batch per week for 12 weeks to insure a continuous supply. We will keep careful track of which varieties are forced when and in which locations. When the chicons are ready for harvest each week, we will trim them, pack, weigh, and transport them to our organic wholesaler or winter farmers market. At some point during the forcing process, we will offer an on-farm workshop publicized by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA). At the completion of the forcing process in March, 2017, we will analyze the outcome data gathered throughout the process (described in the previous section) and write our booklet, “How to Grow Organic Belgian in the Northeast” for distribution using the outreach plan outlined in the next section. From that point on, until we present our workshop at the Feb., 2018 PASA conference, we will continue to distribute the results through our outreach plan. Of course, we will also submit annual reports and the final report as SARE requires. Our Technical Advisor usually organizes an organic session at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention (mafvc.org), which attracts 1500 fruit and vegetable growers, and she has already invited us to present our findings in 2017 or 2018.
We will write and distribute a detailed “How to grow organic Belgian in the Northeast” in both printed and electronic form. We will offer it to the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) and other organic associations in the Northeast (MOFGA, NOFA, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group) for posting on their website and inclusion in their other distribution channels. John Eisenstein is a board member of the Tusarora Organic Growers Association, and will make the booklet available to other members of the co-op. Since he knows most of them, and lives close to them, these organic farmers should be especially interested in growing Belgian Endive. We will also offer both on and off-farm workshops publicized through PASA, as well as present at the aforementioned Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention. We have already participated in workshops at PASA’s annual conference and will propose offering a workshop at the 2018 PASA conference. We have already received email confirmation from the PASA conference organizer that the idea sounded great and that PASA would certainly consider scheduling it. We will consider presenting workshops in other states and through other organizations as our schedule permits. We will print enough copies of “How to grow organic Belgian in the Northeast” to hand them out at workshops and mail them for the cost of postage to anyone who requests one. This offer will be announced through the sustainable agriculture organizations (such as PASA) listed above.
- ENDIVE AND ITS CHICORY RELATIVES
- Lettuce, Endive, and Escarole
- Types of Lettuce
- Major disease problems in this crop:
- Major insect pests that affect this crop:
- 1. Selecting and Storing
- 2. Belgian Endive Salad
- 3. Use Them as Scoops
- 4. Braised Endive
- 5. Sauteed Endive
- 6. Other Ideas
ENDIVE AND ITS CHICORY RELATIVES
(Cichorium endivia and Cichorium intybus)
By SCMG Linda Rose
Endive (pronounced ‘on-deev’) is a cool-weather vegetable that comes in several forms including a broad-leafed form (escarole), a curly-leafed form (frisée) and a root crop form that produces the blanched bulb known as Belgian endive. Leafy forms of endive (Cichorium endivia) are biennial plants grown as annuals and resemble lettuce. Any study of endive invariably leads to a discussion of chicory because Belgian endive actually is a variety of chicory (Cichorium intybus). Chicories are short-lived perennials generally grown as annuals and include salad green varieties and large-rooted varieties whose roots are ground and used as a coffee substitute in some parts of the world, or as an additive to regular coffee.
Endive and chicory varieties are Mediterranean natives and are members of the Asteraceae (Compositae) or daisy family. Both leafy forms of endive, escarole and frisée, form a rosette of leaves while Belgian endive produces smallcylindrical heads and radicchio produces a lettuce-like head. Chicory also has green-leafed varieties that resemble leaf or head lettuce.
Leafy endive can be grown in all zones within Sonoma County. It tolerates more heat than lettuce but grows faster in cool weather. It tends to be somewhat bitter, but cool weather tempers the flavor. Since it matures in 90 to 95 days, planting should be timed to miss the hottest months. Spring endive can be planted from seed as soon as the ground can be worked. For a fall
crop, the California Master Gardener Handbook suggests sowing as late as July.
Direct seed leafy endive in rows 15-18 inches apart, and thin plants to 10-12 inches apart. It reaches full size when it measures one foot across. To further reduce the bitterness, many gardeners blanch the heads before harvest. Do this by pulling outer leaves over the center and tie them one third of the way down with rubber bands, but not when wet or they might rot. The covered center leaves will blanch to yellow or white in 7–10 days. Endive also can be used unblanched by cutting outer leaves as you would for chard or kale. Varieties suggested by Sunset Western Garden include ‘Green Curled’ frisée and ‘Broadleaved Batavian’ escarole. Leafy endive is eaten like other greens: sautéed or chopped into soups, stews and salads.
Chicory (C. intybus) includes well-known Belgian endive (sometimes called French endive or Witloof chicory) and red-leafed radicchio. It also includes lesser-known green-leafed, small-rooted chicories grown for salad greens.
Sunset Western Garden recommends ‘Witloof Bruxelles’ or ‘Totem’ as Belgian endive varieties. Plant seeds in spring or early summer to mature by fall. In winter, trim the greens leaving an inch of stem. Carefully dig the roots, let them dry in the open for a day or so, then bury them diagonally in moist sand and store them in a cool dark room. This will force pale, tender new growth. After a month or so, remove enough roots from storage to fill a one-foot-deep flower pot with roots. Put the pot in a tray of water and keep in a cool, totally dark place for another 3 weeks until bulbs are formed.
Although this may sound like more work than it is worth, the Belgians refer to these bulbs as “white gold.” They have flavor and versatility, are high in nutrition, high in minerals, low in sodium and, best of all, only 1 calorie per leaf! The flavor changes subtly depending on whether it is steamed, stewed, broiled or baked – or eaten raw. For a lovely appetizer, fill individual leaves with salmon or seafood, caviar or cheeses.
Red-leafed radicchio is best sown in mid to late summer so that it matures in cooler months. The lettuce-like heads become a deep rosy red as weather grows cold. It has a slightly bitter flavor that becomes less so as the color deepens. Both red and green chicories should be planted 1/4- to 1/2-inches deep and thinned to 6 to 12 inches apart. For best results, try growing a Dutch cultivar. Radicchio is harvested after heads form. Green varieties are cut-and-come again; that is, tender outside leaves are harvested as needed.
Experience a new green! If you do not have room in your food garden, plant an edible landscape border of the colorful leaf varieties.
Lettuce, Endive, and Escarole
There are four general types of lettuce recognized as subspecies. All are extremely sensitive to high temperatures. Lettuce will germinate at soil temperatures of 32°F, but the optimum and maximum soil temperature is 75°F. When seeded at a soil temperature of 80°F, the seed will not germinate but rather remain dormant until cooler temperatures prevail. Lettuce that is already established and subjected to high temperatures will bolt and form a seed head. Crisphead types will suffer from internal tip burn of the leaves.
Types of Lettuce
Crisphead or iceberg is commonly found in produce markets. The leaves are thin and crisp and frequently have curled or serrated edges. Today’s consumer is looking for a firm, durable head.
Butterhead or bibb lettuce is a head type with loosely folded leaves. The outer leaves are green while the inner leaves are cream or yellow. Butterhead type lettuce requires careful handling as it bruises and tears easily. For this reason, it is best suited to local market sales.
Cos or romaine is an upright plant with the outer leaves smooth and green and the inner leaves whitish green. Some think the leaves are more crisp than other heading types.
Leaf lettuce, loose leaf or loose head are all names applied to the fourth general type. Lettuce of this type does not form a head and the leaves may be serrated, deeply lobed or crinkled. Leaf lettuce color varies from light green to red, adding attractive color to the salad or dinner plate.
Lettuce grows best at cool temperatures, making spring and fall the major production seasons in New England. In northern parts of the area, lettuce can be grown through the middle of the summer, but escarole or endive can make a satisfactory substitute during warm weather.
Because lettuce is generally harvested on a once-over basis, uniformity at harvest is essential. Growers should purchase the best quality seed available to help ensure the uniformity of the crop. Precision seeding, with modern planters, and coated seed can enhance uniformity. Irrigation immediately after seeding also promotes uniform emergence.
Transplants are often used for lettuce production. They are started in the greenhouse in February or March, and hardened transplants are set out in April. Hardening of lettuce transplants is accomplished by withholding water and gradually reducing temperatures for 10 days before the planned transplant date. Harvest will be in about six weeks. Some growers are finding that the use of floating row covers over the bed in combination with early transplanting will provide an earlier lettuce crop for a specialty market.
Transplants can be used all season, from mid-April to August 1. Varieties that do well as transplants even in mid-summer and are very slow to bolt include Ermosa (Boston), Slobolt (green leaf), New Red Fire (red leaf), and Green Forest (Romaine). Starting transplants in the greenhouse always provides better germination under warmer conditions than in the field.
For Current information on production methods (including varieties, spacing, seeding, and fertility), weed, disease, and insect management, please visit the New England Vegetable Management Guide website
Major disease problems in this crop:
- Cucumber Mosaic Virus
- Lettuce, Septoria Blight
- Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus
- White Mold
Major insect pests that affect this crop:
- Aphid, Cabbage
- Cabbage Looper
- Cutworm, Black
- Cutworm, Variegated
- Leafhopper, Aster
- Tarnished Plant Bug
- Whitefly, Greenhouse
Looking for a new ingredient to brighten your meals? Give endive a try! This versatile leafy green works well in everything from salads to appetizers.
Craving a salad? These easy recipes are ready in 30 minutes or less.
What Is Endive?
Endive is a nutritious leafy green that comes from the chicory plant family. It’s used in many dishes, mainly salads (like this endive watercress salad). It can be roasted, grilled or braised to create a hearty texture and tart, buttery flavor.
What Is the Flavor of Endive?
Endives can be enjoyed both raw or cooked.
When raw, endives are crisp and bitter, making them a great addition to salads. When cooked, endive’s sharp flavor softens into a mellow, nutty sweetness.
What Is Endive Used For?
Endive makes a delicious appetizer and a healthy alternative to chips or crackers. We recommend these avocado endive cups for your next party in lieu of messy nachos. In salads, endive adds crunch and zest. It can be cooked tender-crisp like spinach or used as a wrapping for meat or fish. (P.S. These are our best fish recipes!)
Endive also has several health benefits. The leaves are high in fiber, calcium, potassium and vitamins A, C and E. It is low in sugar, sodium and fat. It also contains inulin, a carbohydrate that stimulates the appetite and helps aid digestion.
What Is the Difference Between Endive and Escarole?
Endive and escarole are both chicories of the same species. They even have the same botanical name, Cichorium endiva. Although they are sometimes used interchangeably, endive and escarole have some slight differences.
How do you tell the difference between the two? Endive has curly, narrow leaves, while escarole has smooth, flat leaves. Escarole is also usually less bitter-tasting than endive.
Try escarole in this yummy white bean soup.
What Recipes Can I Make With Endive?
Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up some endive. Then, give it a try in our Salmon Mousse Endive Leaves, Winter Endive Salad or Cranberry Endive Appetizers. No matter which recipe you try, the result is sure to be delicious!
Many people are not familiar with Belgian endive; I know I wasn’t. If you have never tried it, you may be pleasantly surprised by this tangy, crunchy vegetable. Not all endives are the same. Curly endive, also known as frisee and chicory, has tightly bunched, frizzy leaves and is mostly eaten as a salad green. Broad-leafed endive, familiarly known as escarole, is delicious raw or cooked. Belgian endive is related to these two but it is not the same. Belgian endive is a small, cylindrical head of lettuce with pale yellow leaves and curly edges. Red Belgian endive is known as radicchio.
Belgian endive can be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves are crunchy and slightly bitter though the flavor mellows a bit when it is cooked and even gets a bit sweet. It is a hardy winter vegetable and more versatile than many people may think. If Belgian endive is new to you, here are some ways to make it taste delicious.
1. Selecting and Storing
When selecting Belgian endives, look for heads that are free from blemishes and discolorations especially along the feathery yellow-green edges. They should feel heavy and have densely packed leaves. You can peel back the outer layers a bit to check the inner leaves. Keep the endives in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. They should last about a week. Don’t cut them until you are ready to use them or they will brown faster. Check out How to Properly Store Your Fruit and Vegetables for Maximum Freshness for more tips.
2. Belgian Endive Salad
Belgian endive is very crunchy and works well in salads. Since it is a winter vegetable, use it to make a hearty salad with fruit and nuts. Try this Belgian Endive, Apple and Walnut Salad: trim the bases of 2 or 3 heads of Belgian endive and pull the leaves from the heads. Cut them into smaller pieces. Slice 2 apples into thin wedges and add to the endive in a large bowl. Mix in ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts. In a small bowl, combine 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, the zest and juice of half a lemon, 1 tsp. dried dill, and kosher salt to taste. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to mix. For more salad ideas, read Not Just for Summer: 7 Tips for Making Satisfying Fall and Winter Salads.
3. Use Them as Scoops
Maybe the most popular way people use Belgian endive is to treat the leaves like small bowls and fill them with amazing foods. In a sense, the leaves act like wraps except they don’t really close up. Belgian endive leaves are perfect for my Tofu “Chicken” Salad: cut a block of extra-firm tofu that has been pressed and drained into small cubes. Steam the cube for 3-4 minutes. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in a large skillet and cook the tofu for just a few minutes until they just begin to brown on all sides. Transfer the tofu to a plate to cool. In a large bowl, combine 2 finely chopped celery stalks, 2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley, 4 Tbs. vegan mayonnaise, 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. mustard powder, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and ½ tsp. black pepper. Add the tofu to the bowl and mix everything together. Taste for any seasoning adjustments and refrigerate until the tofu salad is cold. Separate the leaves from 4 or 5 heads of Belgian endive and place the leaves on a serving platter. Spoon the “chicken” salad into the endive boats. Sprinkle with chopped toasted almonds.
4. Braised Endive
Braising involves cooking a food in liquid for a considerable period of time. It softens the food while infusing it with the flavors of whatever it is cooked in. Braised endive is an amazing side dish. Braising softens the bitter flavor and makes the greens tender. To make Braised Belgian Endive with Breadcrumbs: heat 1 Tbs. oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add ½ cup bread crumbs and 2 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley and toast until they are browned and crispy. Set aside. In a deep saucepan, add 1 Tbs. of oil and 1 Tbs. vegan butter. Cut 5 or 6 heads of Belgian endive in half, length-wise. Lay the heads in the pan, cut-side down. Cook the endive until it starts to brown, about 3 minutes. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan. Add 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp. dried thyme, 1 cup vegetable broth and kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Cook for half an hour until the liquid evaporates, turning the endive every ten minutes or so. Transfer the endive to a platter and sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs.
5. Sauteed Endive
My favorite way to cook any vegetable is to saute it. It’s fast, easy and it adds a ton of flavor. You can saute Belgian endive alone or add other greens to the mix. To make Sauteed Belgian Endive: heat 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat. Add 3 minced garlic cloves and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Chop 4 heads of endive into small pieces and add to the skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Saute about 3 minutes until the greens are tender but still have some crunchiness. Remove from the heat. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top and serve. You can use the same recipes and ideas with Belgian endive as written about in 10 Creative Ideas to Stir-Fry and Sauté Spinach.
6. Other Ideas
There are a lot of other ways to enjoy Belgian endive. Chop them up and add them to soups, stews and chilis. Try adding endive to top your burgers and sandwiches instead of the usual lettuce. Add chopped endive to your stir-fries. Grill the whole heads until charred and crisp-tender. Instead of crackers, put out endive leaves on your party platters to dip into your most awesome dips and spreads. If you want to save carbs and calories, treat the endive leaves like pasta shells. Fill them with tofu ricotta, lay them in a baking dish and cover them with marinara sauce and vegan mozzarella. Bake at 400 degrees for just 10 minutes and you have a healthier version of manicotti or stuffed shells.
I try to make it a habit to experiment with new greens and vegetables every chance I get. Hopefully, these ideas will inspire you to try Belgian endive. If you have a favorite way to eat endive, tell us in the comments.
Image Source: Lablascovegmenu/Flickr