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Korean Barbeque-Stuffed Endive Leaves from Amy of Word Kitchen

Today we are honored to have a guest post from Amy of Word Kitchen, who writes about the culinary connections between American Thanksgiving traditions and her son’s South Korean heritage. Her Korean Barbeque-Stuffed Endive Leaves are a savory treat from her home to yours, ready to be enjoyed any time!

Writer Amy Rogers Nazarov (in black, at end of table) enjoys Thanksgiving dinner with her family at home in Washington, DC in November 2011. The Korean Barbeque-Stuffed Endive Leaves were long gone by this point. (photo courtesy Ari Nazarov)

My husband Ari and I brought our son home from South Korea when he was almost nine months old.

Adopting Jake has made our lives richer in so many ways, from the friends with whom we socialize – families built by adoption and biology – to the dreams we nurture about a journey back to South Korea so Jake can see where he was born – and, with luck, see his foster family and his birth relatives.
Jake is almost five years old, and talking openly about his adoption is just the way we do things around here. He knows he did not come out of my belly but out of his birth mom’s. There is a photo of his foster mother holding him on our living-room mantel. And I’ve told him he used to ride in his foster mom’s podaegi when she went out to buy food or run errands in the bustling city of Seoul. A podaegi is a Korean baby carrier, a great length of fabric the caregiver wraps around herself and the baby so the infant is cozily snuggled against her back. The moment I first laid eyes on my son, in the parking lot of his foster family’s apartment building, all I could see was his head sticking out of the podaegi.
Happily, Jake likes Korean food, which we eat in restaurants about once a month and which I am learning to make at home. Last Thanksgiving, I experimented with Korean barbeque, which is usually made with short ribs marinated in a salty-sweet sauce. I thought it might be the basis of an appetizer giving a nod to Jake’s birth culture, which we seek to honor and learn more about any chance we get.
My entire family – my parents, my brother and sister and their spouses and children – came from New England to Washington to celebrate and eat with Ari, Jake and me. By and large, it was a traditional American feast: there was a 20-pound turkey, my brother Paul’s green-bean casserole, my sister Alison’s squash, my mother Carol’s apple pie (true confession: we’d all take apple over pumpkin any darn day). But like I said, I wanted to put a Korean stamp on the meal.
This dish is based on the Korean barbeque recipe in Joohee Muromcew’s The Baby Bistro Cookbook (Rodale, 2003). I used 80/20 ground beef, marinating it for an hour or so before I dropped it down in the hot skillet. The first time I prepared the dish, I made two mistakes: one, I used ground sirloin, which dried out because of the relative lack of fat. Also, I worked the marinade into the meat, which made the cooked beef tough. I advise you to purchase ground chuck for the recipe and then to just let the meat hang out in the marinade, turning it a couple of times; you’ll have a chance to work the flavors in later when you are browning it.
When it’s cooled a little, I spooned the cooked beef into endive leaves, which not only add crunch, color and contrast but are sturdy enough to hold the meat. My husband is a vegetarian, but everyone else gobbled up the meat-stuffed leaves with gusto.
My hope is to serve a Korean dish at every Thanksgiving. We’re a Korean-American family now, and preparing and eating the food of our son’s birth country can, I think, help tide us over until we get back to Korea one day to help him better understand where he came from on his journey to us.
Korean Barbeque-Stuffed Endive Leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions or chives, chopped
½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 T hoisin sauce (optional)
1 T white sugar
1 T brown sugar
2 T toasted sesame oil
1 pound ground beef (preferably ground chuck, which has a higher fat content)
Two heads of endive, washed, with leaves pulled off and ready to fill
Mix the scallions, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce (if you are using it), sugars and oil in large self-closing plastic bag (it has to be big because the meat’s going into it). Make sure you dissolve the sugars. Place the beef in the bag and let it marinate for a minimum of 15 minutes. You can also leave it there overnight.
Into a skillet preheated to medium, dump the entire contents of the bag. Break apart the marinated beef with a spoon for 10 minutes or more. Resist the urge to turn up the heat; the sugar in the marinade can burn if it’s too hot.
Once the meat is no longer pink inside (be sure to take out a knife and check!), pile a tablespoon or so of the beef into the waiting endive leaves (enlist some help from anyone standing around in the kitchen, as this is a bit time-consuming). The bigger leaves might be able to hold a bit more.
The meat-stuffed leaves look nice arranged on a round platter. These tasty bites cool off quickly, but they taste good warm or at room temperature.
About the blogger:
Amy Rogers Nazarov (photo courtesy Ari Nazarov)

Amy Rogers Nazarov (photo courtesy Ari Nazarov)

Amy Rogers Nazarov writes about food, adoption and technology from her home in Washington, DC. Her byline has appeared in Cooking Light, Washingtonian, The Washington Post, The Writer, Cure, BizTech, The Baltimore Examiner, Media Bistro, and many other outlets. Amy blogs at, tweets @WordKitchenDC, and is represented by Fairbank Literary Representation (

12 Days of Endive, Day 3: WIN SOME ENDIVE!

12 Days of Endive with Rachael from La Fuji Mama

On Day 3 of the 12 Days of Endive, Rachael schools us in the history of endive. This little vegetable has quite a storied past!

Want to win some freshly packed California endive?

Check out Rachael’s post, then come back here and leave a comment telling one new thing you learned about endive. If you do, you’ll be entered to win a shipment of California endive. Entry period will close on Monday January 23, midnight EST. Winner chosen at random from all valid entries. Void where prohibited. Shipping only to continental US, excluding Alaska.

What are you waiting for? Now’s your chance to win the Queen of Vegetables!

This sweepstakes is closed. Thank you for your comments! Congratulations to Shreela for winning a shipment of freshly packed California endive!

Endive and Beet Salad with Candied Walnuts

Endive and Beet Salad with Candied Walnuts

Serves 4

3 medium red beets, greens removed
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water

Candied walnuts:
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch salt
1 cup walnut halves or pieces

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
1 shallot, minced
Salt and pepper

4 large endives, preferably 2 white and 2 red

Preheat oven to 400°F. Put beets in small baking dish with garlic, wine vinegar and water. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake until beets are tender when pierced, 45 to 60 minutes. Peel while warm. Let cool, then cut into small cubes.

For walnuts: Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In bowl, stir together sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Bring small pot of water to boil over high heat. Add walnuts and boil for 1 minute. Drain in a sieve. While they are still slightly
damp, add walnuts to bowl with spiced sugar and stir to coat evenly. Spread walnuts on parchment paper and bake until they are fragrant and sugar has melted, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

For dressing: In small bowl, whisk together oil, wine vinegar, shallot and salt and pepper to taste.

Add enough dressing to beets to coat them lightly. Slice endives crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide pieces. Discard ends. Put endive in bowl and toss with remaining dressing. Arrange on serving platter. Scatter beets over endives, then scatter candied walnuts over all. Serve immediately.

De-Stress the Holidays with California Endive

Home entertaining peaks at holiday time, and stress spikes along with it.

But that was last year. This year, implement a new strategy. Start stockpiling festive recipes that rely more on your flair than your time, such as anything made with the fashionable and elegant endive. Both white and red varieties make an immediate style statement and can take you from Thanksgiving through New Year’s with minimal effort. Endive (say on-deev) can help you keep a lid on holiday calories, too. At only one calorie per spear, endive is truly the “slimmer dipper,” a more wholesome choice than crackers or salty chips.

A versatile vegetable developed in Belgium (but now California grown), endive can come to the table either hot or cold. Crisp and refreshing when sliced raw in salads with candied walnuts and ruby beets, the shapely heads also bake to perfection. Braise them with broth, cream, and mustard for a side dish worthy of your Thanksgiving turkey or a holiday roast. For a cocktail party, the curvaceous spears can cradle any filling or scoop any dip, from a creamy feta spread to a spicy shrimp salad.

Endive may have a glamorous aura but it’s a remarkably practical choice: less expensive pound-for-pound than most bagged salad mixes; longer lasting (up to 14 days if kept in moist paper towels in a plastic bag); and all but effortless. You don’t even need to wash it or spin it dry; just slice the heads crosswise for salads, discarding the core, or braise the plump heads whole. Its captivating bittersweet flavor has made endive a European favorite, a complement to apples, pears, and nuts, smoked fish, and roast meats.

All week we’ll be offering fabulous recipes that add the delicious to your holiday entertaining, while steering clear of added stress. First up, Endive with Roasted Red Pepper Feta Spread!

Endive with Roasted Red Pepper Feta Spread

Makes 1 1/3 cups spread, to serve 8
1/2 pound Greek or French feta, in small chunks
1/2 large roasted red bell pepper, peeled, seeded and sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, or more if needed
2 dozen white and red endive spears for dipping
Fresh dill sprigs, for garnish
Kalamata olives, for garnish

Put feta, bell pepper and garlic in food processor and blend, adding just as much olive oil as needed to make a smooth puree. Transfer spread to serving platter or bowl and surround with endive spears. Garnish with dill sprigs and olives.

For more holiday entertaining ideas, visit the Discover Endive website.



One Cup of Endive a Week Can Reduce the Risk of 

Ovarian Cancer by 75%

Endive - A Nutritional Powerhouse

During the premiere of the new Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. William Li, a noted cancer researcher, featured foods that can cut the risk of ovarian cancer.
Number one on the list was endive.
In a study of more than 62,000 women in the Netherlands, those who ate endive had a 75% reduction in the risk of ovarian cancer.
Experts believe that one-third of cancers can be prevented by eating the right foods. The good news is that you only have to consume one cup of raw endive a week to gain the anti-cancer benefit.
To view the Dr. Oz video, click here.
To read more about the anti-ovarian cancer diet, click here.
And for many ways to incorporate healthy endive into your diet, check out our delicious recipes.

Anti-Cancer Diet

During the season premiere of The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Mehmet Oz discussed foods that can help prevent ovarian cancer. If you haven’t already watched, check out this intriguing video, highlighting endive. Then check out this delicious recipe: Sea Bass with Mediterranean Sauce.

Anti-Cancer Diet (video)

Yes, Giada, It Really is Pronounced “ON-deev”

You say “N-dive”, I say “On-deev”. Is there a difference?

Actually, there is.

Although they are both members of the chicory family, they are different. Take a look at this lovely collection of chicory family members, and you’ll see what I mean.

the different types of endive

When you say “N-dive” you are referring to curly endive. Grown outdoors, this type of endive is the wild member of the family, with curly, deeply-indented disheveled leaves. A tamer looking version is called escarole.  Frisee is a smaller headed variety with fine leaves and a semi-blanched center. In some parts of the U.S., it’s called chicory.

So what is endive (ON-deev)? Most often referred to as Belgian endive, it could be called the elegant member of the chicory family, with its tightly packed leaves and smooth, elongated shape. Unlike curly endive or other chicories, its final growth takes place in the dark, contributing to its white or blanched color.

We’re on a mission to let everyone know about ON-deev. Even pros like Giada De Laurentiis mix up these two members of the chicory family from time to time. Now that you are “in the know”, make sure to ask for it by name (ON-deev)!


Endive is one of the most versatile and delicious vegetables in the world. Maybe that’s why it’s called “white gold” in Belgium. Now you can purchase Belgian-style endive grown in the  U.S.A. by Discover Endive. For more information on California (Belgian-style) Endive, visit Discover Endive.

A Visit to an Endive Farm

The following post originally appeared on Specialfork’s Blog on August 8, 2011 and was written by Sandy Hu

Endive Salad

Endive Salad

I love endive – braised, grilled, in salads or as an edible scoop for dips. I’ll eat this crunchy, nutty, slightly bitter vegetable any way it’s served.

So you can imagine my delight when I was invited last Wednesday to Rio Vista, California, for an endive farm tour at California Vegetable Specialties (CVS), the largest producer of endive in the U.S.

I had seen endive growing experimentally in Hawaii on a small scale. But I was unprepared for the magnitude of production at CVS. And while I knew the heads grew in pitch-black conditions, I hadn’t really understood how complicated it was to produce this delicacy – a two-step process that involves growing chicory roots, harvesting the roots and keeping them in cold storage; then awakening the hibernating roots and forcing the heads to grow in dark rooms, nourished from the root and through a hydroponic process. CVS founder Rich Collins sums it up as “a contrived, manipulated response to a plant.” Check out the fascinating growing process in this video.

Collins, a delightful host and an excellent teacher, always wanted to be a farmer, even as a child. But the desire didn’t take root until he encountered endive. As an 18-year-old dishwasher at the French restaurant La Salle in Sacramento, he was exposed to endive just once: at a VIP birthday banquet at the restaurant where braised endive was served. He hadn’t tasted the endive, but when he learned that this delicacy was only available imported from Europe and the high price it commanded, Collins was hooked.

That very year, he started a small patch to grow endive. “I failed miserably,” he recalled. After many years researching growing techniques and a year in Europe working on endive farms, Collins began commercial production on five acres in 1983. Today, the farm has expanded to 250 acres, 40 of which are dedicated to organic endive.

IMG 0016 endive factory close shot 300x225 A Visit to an Endive FarmOne of the secrets to successfully growing endive is in the quality of the chicory roots that go into cold storage. “You need really good plant materials,” he said. “The cold room is not a hospital.” You can’t coax poor roots into make quality endive.

We had a delicious endive lunch following the tour, including this Endive Salad below.

And by the way, the proper pronunciation, we learned, is “On-deev.” “End-dive” refers to another member of the chicory family, the green, leafy curly endive, escarole and frisee that grow outdoors in the light. I always thought there was a French pronunciation and an American one; but pronunciation actually defines the two different members of the chicory family.

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Endive Salad

2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 white endives, heads sliced crosswise in wide ribbons
2 red endives, heads sliced crosswise in wide ribbons
1 cup arugula
½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds or other nuts
1 large pear (Bartlett or Bosc), sliced

Endive factory 300x225 A Visit to an Endive FarmIn a large bowl whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, oil, mustard and garlic until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper. Add the endives and arugula and toss. Divide salad among four salad plates. Scatter the Parmesan shavings and the pumpkin seeds on top, dividing equally and arrange ¼ of the pear slices on each salad. Serves 4.

Recipe from California Vegetable Specialties.

Special Fork is a recipe website for your smartphone and PC that solves the daily dinnertime dilemma: what to cook now! Our bloggers blog Monday through Friday to give you cooking inspiration. Check out our recipe database for quick ideas that take no more than 30 minutes of prep time. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

California Endive for a Year!

Discover Endive is proud to support #afundforJennie, with an unusual auction item: free California Endive for a year! Throughout the next 12 months, Discover Endive will ship the winner a 6-lb box of freshly grown, hand-packed red and white endive. Four shipments are included with this prize, and the total value of the item is $120. Bidding will end on Monday, August 29 at 11:59 PM PST. (This item ships only within the Contentinal US, excluding Alaska.)

Here are some interesting facts about California Endive:

  • grown year round, California Endive is always in season;
  • properly stored, California Endive can last up to 14 days in the refrigerator;
  • there’s no need to wash it. The leaves have never been exposed to soil or direct human contact.
  • California Endive is wonderful raw in salads and as a dipper for hummus and other tasty spreads.
  • California Endive is a versatile vegetable that stands up well to grilling, roasting and braising.
  • Add California Endive to your next meal!

Bidding starts at $10. Please visit the Discover Endive facebook page to leave your bid.

We hope you will join us in supporting this worthwhile cause. For more information visit:

Discover Endive! Visit Our Website

Endive website

Dr. Oz and the Anti-Ovarian Cancer Diet

Endive on Facebook

Visit Endive on Facebook

Endive on Twitter

Follow Endive on Twitter

Endive on YouTube

Endive videos on YouTube

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