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Belgian Endive

In Season: Belgian Endive

It's known as "white gold" in some parts of the world, and while there may be some debate on how it should be pronounced (en-DIVE or ON-deev), there is no debating the fact that Belgian endive is simply delicious.

Endive is an incredibly interesting leafy vegetable, starting with the fact that it is grown in the dark. The story of its discovery goes like this: a farmer in Belgium was storing chicory roots in his cellar. He forgot about them and came back to find that they had sprouted leaves even in the dark, damp cellar. He took a bite and found that he loved the tangy, slightly bitter flavor of the bundle of leaves, and thus, Belgian endive was born.

Find out how to grow your own Belgian endive and how to best enjoy it when you read on.

This tight little bundle of tender leaves is rich in vitamins as well as fiber. It's got a slightly bitter and tangy taste, and the crispiness of the leaves make it perfect in salads or as an edible serving dish for appetizers. Belgian endive is available from September to May, but its peak season begins in November — which is also great, considering endive braises beautifully. Store your endive in paper towels in the refrigerator, as light turns the leaves green and makes them bitter.

Source: Flickr User Walt Hubis

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