As children, it was almost impossible for us to eat endive. Even in a gourmet dish of endive with ham, there was no doubt, the bitterness was there. To remedy this and make children love endive, let’s restore the image of this delicious vegetable.
With agriculture, yesterday’s endive is less bitter than today’s endive
Some may have noticed that endives are less bitter. If eating them as they are has become more bearable, it is thanks to new farming methods. Less exposure to light, crossing varieties and fewer pesticides, these are the tips for growing sweeter endive. On the market stalls, we choose white and slightly yellow endives, such as Atlas, Crénoline or Ombine, less bitter than green endives.
Reduce the bitterness of endive
Although endive has lost its traditional bitterness, it is not completely sweet. To reduce the remaining bitterness, there are some tips for cooking endives. Apply before or during cooking depending on the method.
Reduce bitterness with milk
Before plunging your endives into boiling water, add a splash of milk. The sweetness of this store-bought product will counterbalance the bitterness of the endive, which will absorb it without any taste altering that of the vegetable. The perfect combo!
Lemon the cooking water
You don’t have milk or are intolerant? Opt for lemon. We immerse a few slices of lemon in the cooking water and let the process take its course. The acidity of the citrus fruit will cancel out the bitterness, without making your endives acidic! Ideal, right?
Do you have time? Blanch your endives by plunging them into boiling salted water for 15 minutes. Then throw away the bitter cooking water and immerse them in new, boiling water for 5 minutes. You can also switch to oven or steam cooking.
Reduce with bread
As a real grandmother’s trick, we place pieces of bread crumbs at the bottom of a dish, this time for cooking in the oven, which we cover with endive. The crumb, like a sponge, will absorb any trace of bitterness.
Reduce bitterness with potatoes
Still in grandmother’s tips, we use a potato to reduce the bitterness of the endive. To immerse, peeled and cut in half in the cooking water with the endives. Like breadcrumbs, the potato will absorb the bitterness of the endive. This starchy food is also excellent for making up for a dish that is too salty.
Focus on cutting
Certainly the best-known tip, an almost instinctive gesture: you have to cut the base of the endive, the place where most of the bitterness resides. The “cone” of endive is the hard part located at the base of the leaves that is simply removed with a knife.
To your endives!