One of my favorite things at the grocery store is when I'm shopping and I come across a new fruit or vegetable that I have never heard of. I love trying new food and experimenting with recipes in the kitchen. This week I was introduced to endive, a leafy green vegetable that looks like a lettuce version of radicchio. The outer leaves of the endive are very crisp and a little bitter, and the inside has a little more mild flavor. I cut my endive down the middle and sauteed it in a cast iron pan to soften the leaves and reduce the bitterness.
To add flavor to the endive, I paired it with apricot and pickled onions. The apricot adds smooth, sweet notes, and the pickled onion counteracts those flavors with its pungency. The pickled onions only took about 5 minutes to make and can be used to toss onto a bunch of other different salads, veggie burgers, etc. They're also filled with tons of probiotics to help you digest your meal.
The endive is extremely versatile, as are most leafy green vegetables. Once I cooked the endive, the outer leaves began to soften enough that if I wanted to, I could have peeled them off one by one and stuffed them. Each leaf only has one calorie! And an entire endive has about 40 percent of your daily value of vitamin A, as well as ample amounts of manganese, folate, and vitamin K.
To make the pickled onions:
1. Pell and slice a medium sized onion.
2. In a small bowl, mix the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar.
3. Add the onions to a mason jar and top with the water and vinegar mixture. This will fill up a 16 oz mason jar perfectly .
4. Store in the fridge overnight and they're ready to use the next day.
For the salad:
1. Wash your endive, slice off the core on the end, and cut the endive down the middle into two halves.
2. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan over medium heat, and add the endive, cut side down, to the pan. Let this sit for a few minutes until the leaves start to brown and soften. You can then flip the endive over for a minute to let the outermost leaves reach the heat.
3. In a mixing bowl, add the spinach, olive oil, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Toss well.
4. Remove the endive from the pan and arrange it with the spinach, apricot, and pickled onions on a plate.
5. Sprinkle with hemp hearts.