|New Veggie #44 - Belgian Endive|
Belgian Endives belong to the chicory family, the same as radicchio (New Veggie #15). Each endive consists of a bulb of white torpedo like leaves, with yellowish-green tips.
The smaller the endive, the tenderer the leaves. Flavor-wise, the white leaves are supposed to have a slightly bitter taste, which is supposed to mellow to a sweeter flavor once baked or roasted. Hence, my decision to roast these instead of trying to eat them raw.
Belgian endives are supposed to be an excellent source of beta-carotene, potassium, selenium, manganese, copper and iron and vitamins A, B1 (Thiamin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic acid), B6 (Pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid) and C. It is also rich in Inulin which is supposed to be helpful in reducing blood glucose and LDL cholesterol in diabetic and obese patients. An interesting fact about Belgian Endive? It is grown completely underground, or indoors, in the absence of sunlight which prevents the leaves from turning green and opening up. Look for white bunches .. the whiter the leaf, the less bitter the taste.