When I was a kid I remember my father taking our family out to dinner at a “fancy” restaurant in Dallas for a special occasion. The nature of the special occasion eludes me all these many years later but, oddly enough, I still remember the salad. Perhaps that is one mark of a true food lover. We reckon everything in terms of what we were eating at the time. The memorable salad marking that particular experience was dominated by Belgian style endive. (Pronounced “on-deeve”*) It is a vegetable I had not encountered prior to that day and it struck me as very exotic. Even though endive is not a food I have eaten regularly over the years I still associate it with high-caliber restaurants and recipes.
Knowing my husband is a fan of the more bitter flavors, I decided to use endive to create a unique salad for him on Father’s Day. This salad combines crunchy, slightly bitter endive with refreshing watercress and spicy radishes. It’s topped with toasted walnuts and creamy goat cheese and dressed with an extra virgin olive oil and white balsamic vinaigrette. The sweetness of the white balsamic vinegar is a nice contrast to the bitter and spicy flavors of the vegetables.
Health Benefits of Endive
In addition to making me feel very fancy when I eat it, there are a few things I have learned about endive to recommend it for the purposes of our good health. Endive is a member of the chicory family, which includes radicchio, escarole and curly endive. Endive is rich in vitamins A, B, C and K, high in fiber and a good source of beta-carotene and potassium. It is also very low in calories with about one calorie per leaf. Endive is considered to be always in season and keeps about 10-14 days in the refrigerator.
On the list of foods that can cut the risk of ovarian cancer, according to a recent study, endive is number one! Of course, when I hear these statistics I assume I will need to eat huge amounts to get the benefit. Not so in the case of endive. The good news is you only have to consume one cup of raw endive per week to gain the anti-cancer benefit.
When I informed G of this amazing news he was thrilled, THRILLED, he no longer has to worry about developing ovarian cancer. 😉
But seriously, we should always be concerned with our good health. The food we eat has a tremendous impact on our wellness. So ensuring we eat a variety of healthful foods is critical to getting and staying healthy. Remember what Hippocrates said?
Hippocrates would almost certainly approve of Endive, Watercress and Radish Salad with Walnuts and Goat Cheese.