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The bitterness of endives


The bitterness of endives
As I write these lines, we are entering the endive season, and if you like it, it's time to enjoy it, if possible with your local producers.

Endive is good, but the reproach that is often made of it, and children in particular, is: "It's bitter!

And it is (somewhat) true of course, endives have a little bitterness in them that contributes to their charm, and that we may not like. Bitterness moreover which is accentuated with cooking, it is discrete on a raw endive, a little stronger on a cooked one, and very marked on one too cooked.

So if you want to eat cooked endive that is not too bitter, is it possible?
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Last modified on: February 9th 2019

Keywords for this post:EndivesBitternessChildren
The bitterness of endives
Yes, and there is a trick to this, a trick that consists of removing, and discarding, the most bitter part of the endive, the heart, before using it.
This part, shaped like a cone, is at the base of the endive and can be removed with a small sharp knife like this:

retrait cœur d'endives



Once this is done, use the endive as normal, but keep in mind to cook it for as little time as possible, it is not a vegetable that is meant to be cooked, but to be stopped cooking as soon as it is tender.

Another way to reduce this bitterness is to blanch them. If you have a recipe for cooked endives, for example endives au gratin, do not hesitate to blanch them for 1 or 2 minutes in boiling salted water, then drain them very carefully before using them normally.

Well, you have to be honest, you will reduce the bitterness with all this, but not make it disappear, the bitterness is part of the taste of endive, there is a big work of seduction to do with children to get them to eat it...

If you are in this moment, I suggest you to start with an endive salad with walnuts (raw then) finely sliced with a walnut oil dressing, it is a very good, and very progressive beginning, for a discovery of endive.

To sum up: For less bitter endives: 1) Remove the core 2) Cook as little as possible.

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