The Endive Blog

Tastes of Harvest - Red Quinoa Salad in Endive Boats

It seems like this time of year everyone starts to get busy...really busy. With the craziness of the holiday season fast approaching, we attempt to focus our efforts on versatile dishes that can serve as an appetizer or even a light and healthy lunch or dinner. We think this Red Quinoa Salad in Endive Boats is a perfect fit - versatile, healthy and simple. You can either create finger salads by placing the quinoa mixture into the endive leaves or you can surround the mixture with the whole leaves (like the photo below) to showcase the colors of the red and white endive.



1 cup uncooked red quinoa

2 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 apple, cored and diced

1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted, roughly chopped

3 endives


Rinse quinoa in a sieve until water runs clear. Drain and transfer to a medium pot. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until water is absorbed. 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside off the heat for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Allow to cool. In a large bowl, whisk together ground cumin, orange juice, salt, and olive oil. Add the cooked quinoa and stir to coat. Add the chickpeas, apples and almonds, tossing gently to mix. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Chill before serving. Separate whole endive leaves and fill with quinoa salad mixture. (Or place salad mixture in the center of a plate, like the picture above.) Makes approximately 30-36 appetizers.

Recipe contributed by Sue Doeden.

Tastes of Harvest - Avocado & Endive Appetizer

Endive - the healthy, crunchy, elegant yet affordable replacement for chips & crackers. We love it with everything from hummus to salsa to spinach & artichoke dip. Simply cut the end of the endive, separate the loose leaves, and then use the endive as either a "carrier" (see photo below) or as a "dipper". The best part? Endive is loaded with vitamins & minerals and is a great source of complex fibers. Plus, its infinitely more stylish than any chips & crackers from a bag or box. Cheers to healthy dipping!



2 medium sized avocados

1 T lime juice

2 T plain greek yogurt

1/2 t ground cumin

2 T chopped fresh cilantro

24 endive leaves


Peel, pit, and mash avocados; set aside. Combine 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 tablespoons greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro in a small bowl; stir in avocados. Spoon avocado mixture evenly into endive leaves.

Adapted from’s Creamy Avocado Cups

Tastes of Harvest - Latin Salsa and Endive Appetizer

Tastes of Harvests...our way of making your life a bit more simple when it comes to quick, healthy, delicious eating. Over the course of the next few months we will deliver an endive appetizer recipe into your inbox every two weeks.

To start things off, we whipped up a tasty latin mango salsa that pairs well with our favorite fall (well, every other season too) vegetable. This dish serves as a great appetizer for a get-together with friends & family as well as a healthy on-the-go snack or light lunch.





1 red sweet onion

1 white sweet onion

1 jalapeno pepper

1 firm avocado

1 ripe mango

1 can black beans

1 can sweet corn

6 T chopped cilantro

4 T canola oil

2 T red wine vinegar

juice of 1 lime

salt & pepper


Finely dice both onions, the jalapeno, avocado and mango and place all in a mixing bowl. Add chopped cilantro. Rinse and drain both corn and beans and add to mixture in bowl. In smaller separate bowl mic oil, vinegar and lime juice. Pour over vegetable mixture in bowl and thoroughly mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto individual endive leaves and serve.

Endive Summer Salads

                                                           Red and White Endive


After all those months of wishing for summer and its warmer temperatures, it's finally here. On those days when we can't seem to find relief even in the shade we often crave something cool, light and refreshing. Luckily, endive fits the bill!

Endive can be the base or an addition to a number of salads that are perfect for these hot summer days. The leaves maintain a crisp texture that provides a refreshing crunch to your summer salads.

(Not to mention, each head of endive contains less than 20 calories!)

Here is a guideline for creating an assortment of delicious, simple endive salads:


Base: Red and white California endive

Fruit: Blueberries, peaches, apricots

(Any of your favorite summer fruits will add a sweet addition to your endive salad.)

Cheese: Blue cheese, Gorgonzola, Parmesan

Nuts: Walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds

Dressing: 5 tablespoons rice vinegar, ½ cup olive or sunflower oil, 1 T Dijon mustard, 1 shallot or garlic clove, finely chopped


Have fun with the possibilities & enjoy!

Red, White and Blue Salad

Happy Fourth of July! We can’t believe this mid-summer holiday is already upon us, but we did manage to whip up a delicious & festive “flag salad” in honor of Old Glory’s red, white and blue.

Simply pair red and white endive with blue cheese dressed with a light vinaigrette and – voila: a delicious salad of patriotic colors for your fourth of July festivities.

(Consider adding some blueberries for an extra pop of color and flavor while still respecting the “strict” color theme.)

We hope you have a wonderful weekend with family, friends, and of course, food!

Flag Salad

Endive: The Kid-Friendly Vegetable

Turkey Taco Endive Boats

As we enter the month of June, we can officially say summer is here!  June also signals the ending of the school year, which means a lot more time at home for those little ones.  Along with keeping them entertained and active, we also have to keep them fed!

Kids’ taste buds prove to be a challenge to parents who want to include more vegetables in their children’s diets.  While most kids prefer their favorites of pizza or macaroni and cheese, a few simple tweaks to a recipe can provide them with more nutrition, and hopefully begin to expand the number of foods they like to eat!

Carolyn Ketchum of the blog “All Day I Dream About Food,” created a great, kid-friendly recipe.  Carolyn substituted the usual tortillas with endive leaves when preparing her ground-turkey tacos, a healthy and familiar snack that kids are sure to enjoy!  Try Carolyn’s Turkey Taco Endive Boats for yourself, and see if your kids enjoy them as much as we do!

If your kids resist such an obvious presentation of endive, there is a multitude of ways to include the vegetable in various dishes.  Endive can be added to stir-fries, soups, and salads.  Check out a full list of recipes on our website.

So remember to mix up the usual snacks your kids’ enjoy during the summer by including endive!  The vegetable provides a bounty of nutrients that would be a great addition to a child’s diet (and yours too!).  We hope you have a great start to summer and that you have fun experimenting with new ways to include endive in your families’ meals!

Grilling with Endive

Memorial Day is now behind us, which means grilling season has officially begun! While most of us might envision summer barbecues of hot dogs and sweet corn, we want to suggest an addition to the classics: endive!

Endive is freshly produced year round and naturally adapts to such seasonal fare. It acts as a great ingredient in summer salads, providing a crisp and refreshing bite.

But salads are just one way to enjoy endive in the summer! Grilled endive is an undiscovered delight. The vegetable holds up well on a grill and reveals a more mellow, caramelized flavor after experiencing some heat from the coals below. 

So when you're preparing for your next barbecue, remember endives' delicious versatility and make it an addition to your summer barbecue experience!

Grilled Endive with Balsamic Rosemary Marinade

Grilled Endive and Beet


6 heads endive (white), halved lengthwise through the root end
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons dried lavender flowers (optional)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


In a large non-metallic bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients. Add the endive and toss. Set aside at room temperature to marinate, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Prepare a grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Grill the endive cut side down until lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes depending on your grill. Turn, brush with any remaining marinade, and cook until crisp-tender and lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes depending on your grill. Serve warm.

Check out Food and Wine’s recipe for Charred and Smoky Belgian Endives:

Early Roots of a Sustainable Perspective by Rich Collins

Endive Roots: Endive Roots

Through the years I’ve been called cheap by friends and family. Why? As a kid I used to roam nearby construction sites picking up nails dropped by carpenters. If they were bent I’d bring them home and straighten them out for future use. In the fall of each year I’d cajole my dad into driving through our neighborhood the night before garbage collection so we could gather (hundreds!) of bags of leaves for my garden, “rescuing” them from the garbage truck and a fateful end in the landfill. I just hated to see things wasted. Still do. Resources are precious. They should not be wasted - nor abused.

As I entered the world of farming back in the early 80’s this character trait did not retreat. Old equipment was salvaged and transformed into useable stuff. The access door to our first endive forcing room was sheathed in my dad’s old real estate signs (for sale by Joe Collins Realty!) Yeah, I was on the cheap side…

Today at California Endive Farms while I continually warn my staff about the trap of false economies, I also insist that we make prudent decisions about what we use and how we handle the waste we generate. We just recently decided to convert our retail red and white flow pack from a styrofoam tray to one made with waste palm fiber that is recyclable and compostable. So it’ll cost us a few pennies more per case, but it’s the right thing to do.

We recycle as much as we can here, including some 25 – 30 tons a day of chicory roots diverted to cattle feed. A few years back we ridded our facility of its despicable junk food vending machines. Now we purchase fruits and nuts for all of our employees to enjoy as snacks – at no charge to them. Recently we started composting any green waste generated from that produce. Three years ago our board of directors gave the green light to invest in a cold storage facility for our chicory roots. We avoided the temptation of the cheap and easy status quo and dared to ask the short yet provocative question “What if?”. The result is a structure using the Energy Mass Wall – and perhaps the most energy efficient cold storage building in America ( Sometimes it pays big dividends to have a "cheap" perspective!

Is there a way to be sustainable when cooking with endive? Use it all! If, like me, you prefer not to include the solid core in your salad, add them to your soup stock. (Or feed them to your chickens or simply add them to your compost!)

Cream of Endive Soup with Rosemary Parmesan Crisps

Cream of Endive Soup with Rosemary Parmesan Crisps: Cream of Endive Soup with Rosemary Parmesan Crisps



2 tbsp butter

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 heads California Endive, coarsely chopped

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 large sprigs fresh rosemary Crisps:

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped


1. For the soup, heat butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onions and salt, and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.

2. Add endive and cook until leaves are wilted, 2 or 3 minutes. Season with pepper.

3. Add chicken broth and rosemary sprigs and bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Remove rosemary sprigs. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor and puree.

5. For the crisps, preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

6. Mix parmesan and rosemary in a small bowl, then make even 6 mounds on the prepared baking sheet. Spread into a small circle, about 3 inches in diameter and press down gently.

7. Bake 5 minutes, until crisp and lightly browned.

8. Dish out soup with a few rosemary leaves for garnish and serve crisps on the side. Serves 6.

Carolyn Ketchum is one of five food bloggers associated with our OnDiva ambassadorship. She is the writer and recipe developer behind the food blog, All Day I Dream About Food

What Do I Do With Endive? 6 Ways To Prepare This Versatile Vegetable

Salads: Endive serves as a wonderful addition to any salad. The leaves can be used whole, cut across or julienned by itself in a true endive salad or mixed with other greens. The mild and slightly bitter flavor and the crunchy texture create a refreshing dish that livens up the usual salad routine.

Appetizers: Endive works perfectly as a vessel for a variety of appetizers. The leaves are sturdy enough to scoop up dips and have a great shape that allows them to hold most anything from blue cheese to quinoa salad. Not only do the leaves add a light, refreshing flavor to any snack or appetizer, but they have dramatically less calories and more nutrients than the usual cracker or slice of bread!

Braised: Endive becomes an entirely different, yet just as delicious, experience once cooked. Braised endive develops a silky texture that acts as a wonderful side dish to various meats.

Baked: Endive au gratin can also act as the entrée itself, with the mild endive wrapped in ham and sprinkled with gruyere cheese. Voila! A classic, yet simple, dish that will delight anyone’s palate!

Grilled: Because endive production continues throughout the year, endive can be enjoyed in light summer dishes as well. As the weather warms and you break out your grill, include endive in the usual repertoire of zucchini, peppers, onions and mushrooms. Brushed with a simple balsamic vinaigrette, the endive develops a sweetness while maintaining a crunchy freshness—a perfect edition to a summer supper!

Soups: Endive cooks down nicely, so it can be a great addition to a variety of soups. The leaves can easily be chopped up and thrown into a hearty bean soup or blended into a creamy, comforting puree.

Endive Rice Soup

Endive Rice Soup


Makes 4 servings


1 tablespoon canola oil

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 scallions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce

1/2 cup uncooked Japanese rice

6 cups vegetable stock

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

3 heads endive, roughly chopped and leaves separated

White pepper


1. Heat the canola and toasted sesame oils in a pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and scallions and saute until fragrant.

2. Add the ginger and chili garlic sauce and cook for one minute.

3. Add the vegetable stock and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Then add the rice. When the stock returns to a boil, cover the pot, then reduce the heat to a simmer and let the soup cook until the rice is cooked through, about 30 minutes.

4. Add the endive and simmer the soup until the endive is tender and wilted, about 6 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, season with white pepper, and serve.

Recipe & photography provided by Rachael Hutchings of La Fuji Mama.

Endive in Deborah Madison's Vegetable Literacy

"I first met Deborah Madison in person in 1997 at the Annual Conference for the International Association of Culinary Professionals held that year in Portland, Oregon. Prior to that I had known her brother, Mike, a Davis farmer and neighbor, for many years. Deborah is an amazingly easy person to like. We quickly developed an appreciation for our respective links on the food chain and remain good friends." - Rich Collins, President California Endive Farms

We had the opportunity to ask Deborah a few questions regarding the inspiration for her new book, endive's role in Vegetable Literacy and the evolution of food taking place in America.

How you may know her: author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

1. What inspired you to write Vegetable Literacy?

I’m not really sure it was one event; it was an idea I had in mind for quite a few years. But what made it come to life was having a garden and growing vegetables—that really opened my eyes to so much about plants and how we see them.

2. What is your favorite aspect of cooking with vegetables?

Aside from picking them, smelling them, touching them, I love to watch their transformation. When you make a soup, for example, all these amazing colors emerge that the cook gets to see, then after a while they fade. But before they do they’re dazzling! Other vegetables get dingy looking, but then their flavor changes for the better. Visually, it’s quite exciting to work with vegetables in any form, from the raw to the cooked.

3. Where do you like to buy your vegetables?

First I like to get them from my garden, then from the farmers market, followed by the co-op. And of course, it’s great to trade vegetables with other gardeners who maybe grow what you can’t, or who have an excess.

4. You feature multiple recipes with endive. How easily does endive incorporate into recipes and pair with other ingredients?

You can do a lot with endive. Of course it makes a most refreshing salad and it is so easy to slice up. Whether served that way or cooked somehow, I love it with walnuts and blue cheese or Gruyere or aged Gouda. What it pairs well with are those very cheeses and nuts, but also apples and pears, beets and celery root, butter and olive oil. And of course, you can take it over the top with cream, Gruyere and ham.

5. You mention the cost of endive in comparison to chips and crackers. Do you have a favorite endive appetizer?

I love the endive and beet caviar appetizer that I did in my book, Local Flavors. That is a standby that I make often. It’s so pretty. Of course a crab salad would be very nice in an endive leaf as well.

6. What is your favorite way to prepare endive?

When it’s cold out, I love to sauté it, add a little cream, and have it on toast for dinner. (This is a very fast.) I also like to halve an endive lengthwise, brush it with olive oil, and slowly grill (or griddle it, indoors) until it’s tender and browned. A little lemon keeps the light color; the flavor becomes more complex and pronounced and a little sweet. I like it in a chopped salad with beets or with other chicories, like radicchio. When I have it, I just use it everyday.

7. Looking back thirty plus years at the evolution of food in America, what do you find most heartening? Of concern? A prediction or two for the future?

There’s a lot that is heartening. Good farmers and small farms. School gardens. That more people are cooking again and are open to vegetables and other foods; that more people are growing gardens; that people are growing older foods, especially wheat’s, that have been forgotten and trying to bring back fine milling, good dairy, farmstead cheeses and the like.

But on the other side, there’s the GMO problem, the infiltration of Monsanto into the USDA, which is absolutely a horrendous development, the question of modern wheat and what it’s doing to us, the prevalence and power of food manufacturers and the poor quality of their foods. It’s discouraging to me that the USDA makes it so hard for good people to do good things with food, from opening a slaughterhouse to making a dairy or processing salsa. Even tasting foods at a farmers market!

We seem to be going in opposite directions at great speed. Where we’ll end up? Who knows. But sometimes I fear that those of us who care about good food – not a fancy meal but a well-grown vegetable, a beautifully processed nut or plum, old but less glamorous looking varieties, especially of fruit, foods that nurture us and don’t harm us—will have to increasingly provide for ourselves and in some cases, become almost secretive. Think about it: today it’s easier to buy heroin or an automatic weapon than raw milk. I can’t imagine that will be true of endive, though. Long live endive!

Griddled Endive


Nothing could be simpler than this dish. It can go with any number of sauces, such as Tarragon Mayonnaise or Orange Zest or Salsa Verde with Chinese Celery. Or you can just top the sliced endives with a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley, tarragon, or chervil. Goat cheese flavored with orange zest would also be good with the endives.

Select white endive chicons for this dish. Brush a ridged cast-iron griddle pan with olive oil and set over medium heat until hot. Meanwhile, slice the endives in halve lengthwise, drizzle with lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. (The lemon juice keeps the endives pearly white.)

When the pan is hot, place the chicon halves, cut side down, on the pan and cook for 7 to 10 minutes. To get a crisscross of grill marks, pick up the chicon halves, rotate them 45 degrees after 5 minutes, place them again on the hot pan, and leave for the remaining time. Then turn the halves over and cook them on the uncut side until the endives are tender when pierced with a pairing knife. Serve with any of the suggested sauces or herbs.

“Reprinted with permission from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.”

Check to see if Deborah is making a stop in your area for a talk or book signing: Deborah Madison Calendar.

To purchase a copy of Vegetable Literacy, click here: Vegetable Literacy on Amazon.