How To Temper The Overly Bitter Taste Of Endive

Endive is a leafy fall vegetable whose nature is to be a little bitter. A member of the Asteraceae family, along with chicory and frisée lettuce, it is frequently featured in salads, pairing well with nuts and fruit. But it can also be braised or roasted and served up alongside your favorite protein. Endive's harsh taste is loved by some and feared by others. If you want to temper it, start by examining the type of endive you purchase, looking at its overall appearance.

Belgian endive can either be yellowy-green or red-hued. You want to pick endive that is firm with leaves that are crisp, white, and close together. If you see a very green tip or browning on the ends, avoid these heads of endive. They are past their prime. A yellow tip is perfectly acceptable, but you should only be able to see two outer leaves when you are selecting your vegetable. Light is also the great enemy of endive, which is why you've probably encountered wrapped endive at some grocery stores. This wrapping helps it from turning green and tasting overly bitter. 

More ways to remove the bitterness

Of course, wisely choosing your head of endive can sometimes only go so far. Once you've made your endive salad or hot side, and you start chomping on this leafy veggie, if you still find it to be a little too harsh on the tongue, you can use a little acid like lemon juice or vinegar along with some salt. These ingredients balance and brighten the flavor, making it more rounded and absolutely delish.

When preparing a salad, you can also try soaking the endive for an hour or two. This will help eliminate that sharp taste, but be sure to pat and dry your leaves before using them. If you are cooking your endive, blanching it in salt water is an easy way to transform it into something that won't bother your taste buds. Additionally, remove the white, cone-shaped base of your leafy green and this should tame those bitter notes and stop them in their tracks.