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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)

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Dr. Oz and the Anti-Ovarian Cancer Diet

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