*Disclosure: I am so pleased to be working with the wonderful folks from California Endive Farms again. I receive complementary boxes of endive and I am being compensated to develop recipes to share with you in the coming months; all opinions expressed here are 100% mine.
The great thing about being an “endive ambassador” is the seemingly never-ending supply of this healthy vegetable in my refrigerator; I’ve eaten endive all winter long just about everyday and in many, many ways. I love it both raw and cooked, but for different reasons. When it’s raw, endive functions like a bitter green that’s excellent for digestion; when it’s cooked, the bitter flavor mellows so endive makes a palate-pleasing side dish. No matter how you choose to eat it, though, endive is high in vitamins and fiber, but low in calories and carbohydrates; it’s also grown in the USA and is unique because it’s always “in season”.
The preparation of baked endive you see here was adapted from a sweet book I picked up in my local independent book store last weekend: Mr. Wilkinson’s Vegetables: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Garden. The original recipe calls for fennel, but I had a hunch endive would work very well in its stead: it did. This recipe also includes anchovies, and I know this may scare some of you a bit, but anchovies in a dish like this are pretty magical. They add a wonderfully salty flavor! I used anchovies from Vital Choice, which are harvested sustainably and contain protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D (so this dish quite nutritious). If you don’t want to give the anchovies a try, though, it’s okay to omit them.
For the breadcrumbs, I suggest you use a traditional sourdough loaf (or ciabatta, as recommended in the original recipe). I definitely could have torn mine into smaller pieces, so feel free to do that. If you avoid bread because you eat a low-carb or paleo diet, this dish will be just fine if you leave the breadcrumbs off. If you are gluten free but you like the idea of the breadcrumbs, use your favorite sturdy gluten-free bread.
Recent Endive Recipes from My Fellow “OnDivas”:
Sweet Potato Endive Hash with Sriracha Buttermilk Sauce from Cookin’ Canuck
Endive Avocado and Bacon Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing from All Day I Dream About Food
Endive Rice Soup from La Fuji Mama
Shrimp and Avocado Spears from Bell’Alimento
Recipe for Baked Endive with Anchovies and Thyme
- *About 2 cups packed torn sourdough or ciabatta bread pieces
- *5 tablespoons olive oil divided
- *6 white or red or a combination of the two heads of endive, root ends trimmed off, and sliced lengthwise in half
- *1 tbsp butter preferably organic and pastured
- *1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves plus a few sprigs for scattering over the finished dish
- *Small handful of fresh parsley chopped, plus more for garnish (optional)
- *About 10 feel free to use a few more if they are very small and you love them anchovy fillets (optional)
- *Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- *Fresh lemon juice for serving
- 1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, toss bread pieces with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread out onto a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes, or until "semi-crisp". Remove from the oven and set aside, but leave the oven on.
- 2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the endive halves, turn the heat to high, and cook, turning occasionally, until the endives are slightly browned on all sides. Add 1/3 cup water to the pan along with the butter, and cook for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced by half.
- 3. Tuck the anchovies around the endive halves and scatter the thyme leaves and the parsley over the top, along with the breadcrumbs. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the top, season with salt (if using the anchovies, I wouldn't add much, if any) and pepper, and transfer the skillet to the hot oven. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the endive is very tender when pierced with a fork. Add more fresh pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and garnish with additional thyme and fresh parsley before serving, if desired.