Do you say N-dive and ON-deeve? According to California Endive Farms, there actually is a difference.
Curly Endive, pronounced N-dive, is a wilder member of the chicory family resembling escarole, and is grown outdoors. California or Belgian Endive, on the other hand, and pronounced ON-deeve, has tightly-packed, smooth, elongated leaves. Unlike its curlier sister, the final growing phase of this variety takes place in the dark.
Surprisingly, the website says there is no need to wash endive. “The leaves have not been exposed to soil and are harvested and packed under sanitary conditions.” As unsophisticated as this may sound, I will probably continue to give it a rinse, nonetheless.
How can you use endive? In endless ways, from fresh, to braised or grilled. No matter which way, you’re loading up on vitamins B, C, and K, as well as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, folate and selenium. Plus it’s a good source of beta-carotene and heart-healthy potassium.
And that brings us to my new lunchtime favorite – a crunchy hybrid between an endive salad and a rice bowl. And nothing could be easier, since it’s quickly assembled from last night’s leftovers. This makes a super nutritious lunch, an awesome snack, or an easy appetizer, too.
One preparation note – if collard greens are not your cup of tea, substitute freely. My collards were great in this, though. First I steamed, then seasoned them with Kosher salt, ground black pepper, and the juice of one whole fresh lemon. Yum. But just use flavors you like best.
FRESH ENDIVE WITH RICE AND GREENS
6 to 8 whole leaves of California or Belgian Endive
4 to 6 tablespoons hummus
2/3 cup cooked brown rice
1/3 cup cooked collard greens (or other greens of your choice)
6 to 8 grape tomatoes, sliced in halves
Prepare endive, trimming the ends and separating the leaves. Spread each leaf down the center with hummus, from tip to end.
Warm the brown rice together with the greens briefly (if not warm already). Scoop rice mixture into endive leaves evenly, and place on serving dish. Garnish with tomatoes. Serve immediately.