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EST. 2011 BY LIZ RUEVEN
Scooping with Endive Spoons & Lemony Bean Dip
Photo: Liz Rueven

Scooping with Endive Spoons & Lemony Bean Dip

Katy Morris

Like a switch, we begin noshing al fresco during Memorial Day and we’ll dine outside for as many months as Mama Nature allows. This summer, as always, we’re ready to keep it super simple, light and bright with dishes radiating the freshest flavors of the season.

So what has scooped up our attention lately? We’re swooning over the refreshingly crisp Belgian endive (ahn-deev not n-dive, and yes, it matters!) for it’s ease, versatility and mild flavor.

 

You say n-dive, we say ahn-deev

The two pronunciations denote very distinct types of chicory, so be sure to get them straight. The smooth, elongated leaves of Belgian endive (ahn-dive), a.k.a “Belgian white gold”, differ considerably from their chicory relative’s thin and curly ones. Another key difference: curly endive (n-dive) is grown in just two months, whereas Belgian is grown in a lengthy, two staged approach, first planted for its roots, then for its leaves!

Photo: Liz Rueven
Photo: Liz Rueven

 

How to pick

When shopping for these tightly packed, rocket shaped heads, pick firm, blemish-free ones with pale yellow/light green tips. The whiter the leaves, the less bitter they’ll be. Those with the red hue are a cross between endive and radicchio.

 

Storing tips

Just wrap them in paper towels, pop them in a plastic bag and store in your fridge’s crisper, where they should be fine for up to 5 days.

 

How to use

Despite being high maintenance to grow, endive is super easy and versatile to work with. When used raw, they serve as nature’s spoon, ready to scoop up spring grain-based salads, dips, or this smoked salmon mousse . Or you can chop and toss them into a salad as a lettuce sub or grill them along side fresh fish for a softer, mellow sweetness.

Photo: Liz Rueven
Photo: Liz Rueven

Here’s an easy recipe for citrusy White Bean Dip that adds a great hit of protein to your appetizers. Be sure to save some to use as a sandwich spread the next day.

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