Wondering what the heck you do with this little green leaf? Top chefs have the (easy) answers.

By Mara Santilli
April 01, 2018
Photo: barmalini / Shutterstock

Slightly bitter and crisp, endives are the perfect counterpart to anything sweet or rich. The leaf also delivers vitamin A, potassium, and fiber, says Rebecca Lewis, R.D.N., head dietitian at HelloFresh. Three chefs get inspired, below. (Want more? This Endive Mandarin Goat Cheese Appetizer will be a hit at parties.)

1. Cook up a sweet-meets-savory endive sauté.

In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and brown 1 diced red onion over medium-low heat until caramelized. Add 2 chopped Belgian endive spears and 1 large head radicchio, chopped, and sauté until lightly golden. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon brown rice vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, and cook over high heat until the glaze is thickened.

-Ann Nunziata, chef instructor at Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City

2. Toss together a fresh and crunchy endive salad.

Combine 4 cups julienned Belgian endive (about 5 or 6 heads) with 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, 1 cup pulled smoked chicken, and 1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts. In a small bowl, whisk together 6 ounces whole-milk yogurt, a dash of walnut oil, and sesame oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Coat the salad with 1/4 cup of the yogurt dressing and garnish with parsley.

-Tim Cushman, chef and owner of O Ya in Boston and New York City

3. Make a veggie-spiked endive marmalade.

In a large skillet over high heat, bring 4 cups orange juice and 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar to a boil. Remove the core and outer leaves from 6 heads endive; thinly slice the remaining leaves and transfer to ice water. When juice is reduced by three-fourths, drain and dry the endive. Add to pan, along with 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon salt, and a pinch of saffron. Cook until the mixture thickens into a marmalade. Spoon it over seared scallops or grilled pork or chicken.

-James Friedberg, executive chef of Nickel & Diner in New York City