Nutrition: Prepare the endive warm
The endive has a hearty-spicy aroma with a pleasantly bitter note. Many only know the tasty leaves from the salad. The endive is also a highlight in the warm kitchen - for example in risotto, in soups and stews. The fresh green can be prepared similar to spinach and served with meat, fish and seafood. A fried endive salad with pine nuts, capers, olives and raisins is a delicious starter.
The Rhinelander prefers to eat their endive "among themselves", so mixed with potatoes. First, potatoes are boiled in salted water and mashed to a puree with a little warm milk. Fry onions and bacon cubes, wash the endive and cut into fine strips. Mix everything and season with salt, pepper and a good dash of vinegar. Meatballs or matje fillets can be served with this. Those who prefer it less hearty can eat the endive raw in a colorful salad with carrot, beetroot, apples, oranges, pieces of cheese or chopped nuts. A vinaigrette or a light lemon-based dressing goes well with this.
The endive belongs to the chicory family and is closely related to chicory and radicchio. In contrast to many other salads, the endive does not form a closed head, but a rosette. The outer leaves are colored intensely green, while the heart remains light yellow, tender and less bitter. This is achieved by covering with white hoods shortly before harvest. A distinction is made between the smooth endive (escarole) and frizzy endive (frisée).
Before preparation, the entire leaves are cleaned under running cold water before they are cut into fine strips or pieces. Frisée is also often picked. If you want to soften the bitter taste, remove the thick leaf roots or briefly put the leaves in lukewarm water. With the salad, a little sugar helps in the dressing.
Endive grown locally is available from May to November. The best choice is rosettes with fresh, crisp leaves and a large, bright inner part.
If you don't use your whole head at once, you can keep the rest in the vegetable compartment of the fridge. Wrapped in a damp kitchen towel, the salad stays fresh for two to three days. The endive is rich in beta carotene, B vitamins, folic acid, calcium and potassium. The bitter substances contained promote digestion and stimulate the appetite. Heike Kreutz, respectively