You’ve probably heard of Belgian endive, but what about curly endive? Both curly endive and escarole enjoy and thrive in chilly weather, so they have been doing exceptionally well this year. Both are members of the chicory family and have a slightly bitter taste.
We enjoy them as a lettuce replacement on chicken salad sandwiches or mixed with other greens for a dinner salad with pizzazz.
I made this salad with curly endive simply because it was gorgeous on the plate. Escarole would work just as well here.
Curly Endive Salad
*serves 2-4, depending on portion size
- 1 head curly endive (or escarole)
- Bacon, 2 slices per salad
- Thick slice rustic bread (I used roasted garlic sun-dried tomato)
- Egg, 1 per salad
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Trim end off endive and wash leaves. Spin dry.
- Cook bacon in oven until crisp, about 20-25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- To make the croutons, slice bread into chunks, approximately 1×1 inch. Toss with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Bake until just crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Poach the eggs (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/videos/techniques/how-poach-egg)
- Assemble salad as seen above. Drizzle with olive oil and top with cracked black pepper.
These greens also lend themselves to a quick pan saute and, surprisingly, are delicious in soup. I made this soup the other night and loved it. You can have dinner on the table in 20 minutes, easily. It was just as good about 12 hours later, but didn’t hold up as well beyond that. Eat it when it’s fresh. Next time I may replace the beans with brown rice for a variation or I might add sliced wonton wrappers and maybe add a swirl of egg.
Curly Endive & Escarole Bean Soup
- 1/2 cup sliced white and pale green part of scallion and walking onions (reserve tops to garnish soup)
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- 2 stalks lovage, thinly sliced (save leaves for another use – you can use celery if you can’t find lovage, but I highly recommend lovage)
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- olive oil
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 15oz can white beans with juice
- 1/2 curly endive, rough chopped
- 1/2 escarole, rough chopped
- Heat a stock pot over medium high heat. Add 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil and swirl to coat.
- Add onion and saute until soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add carrot and lovage. Saute for a couple minutes.
- Add garlic and thyme. Saute for 30 seconds.
- Stir in stock and bring to a simmer.
- Add beans with juice, endive, and escarole. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Serve topped with chopped scallions.