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Information about Endive


Featured Ingredient - Belgium



Go to:-   Belgium Main Page   |  Belgium Speciality Dish   |  Cooking by Country Main Page





Endive (Cichorum intybus) is a member of the Asteraceae (sunflower) family. Endive belongs to the same family as Chicory, however true chicory is a root vegetable used not only for its roots which are ground to make a coffee supplement, but also for its green leafy tops. Other varieties are grown as Belgian Endive, also known as French endive or Witloof Chicory.


Belgian Endive was accidentally discovered by a Belgian farmer, Jan Lammers, in 1830. Upon returning  from war he found his stored chicory, which he'd previously grown and used for coffee had sprouted white leaves.



Good quality endives are a creamy white with a yellowy green tinge to the leaf edges. When selecting, choose crisp, firm, tightly pack heads no longer than 15cm/6 inches. Store in the refrigerator wrapped in kitchen paper and placed in a plastic bag as they quickly turn green when exposed to light and become quite bitter.


Endive can be used raw in salads or cooked in a variety of ways including stuffed, baked, boiled, steamed or fried. Below is an example of a traditional Belgian recipe using endive however you can find a few Endive recipes on the Belgium Cooking by Country main page or use the Search Page to find them all.



Happy Cooking!




Braised Belgian Endive   Veg  HT  ACC  Belgian  35mins


Serves 4   Hot  Vegetarian  Vegetables  Accompaniment    Gluten Wheat Free  Eggless  Belgium  Europe 




2 tbsp Butter

8 heads of Belgian Endive, cored

3 tbsp Lemon Juice

1/2 teasp Salt

1 tbsp Sugar




1. Heat the butter in a frying pan, add the endives and sauté to lightly brown on all sides. 


2. Add the remaining ingredients, cover the pan, and simmer very gently for  25 minutes, adding a little water if necessary.

Serve immediately with meat, poultry, or game. 

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