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Braised Belgian Endives

User Rating 4 Star Rating (5 Reviews)


Braised Belgian Endives

Braised Belgian Endives

Photo © Molly Watson
Slowly cooking Belgian endives in a bit of butter and lemon juice transforms these otherwise crisp bitter leaves into tender, luscious, almost sweet bundles. It's kitchen alchemy at its finest.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 10 to 12 Belgian endives
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/3 cup water (feel free to use chicken stock or white wine, if you like)
  • 1 tsp. sugar (optional)


  1. Melt the butter over medium low heat in a large, heavy frying pan, saute pan, or pot with a tight fitting lid.
  2. Meanwhile, trim and discard any browned bits on the ends of the endives and any bruised or browning exterior leaves. When the butter is melted, lay the endives in a single layer in the pan. Sprinkle them with the lemon juice and salt. Pour the water down along the side of the pan. If you want to cut the bitterness in the final dish, sprinkle the endives with the sugar.
  3. Cover the pan and reduce heat to low. You want a nice, tight fit with the lid. If steam is escaping, lay a piece of foil over the pan and then put on the lid. Let cook, undisturbed, until endives are very tender, about 30 minutes.

    Note: If your stove is uneven or you need the burner space for the rest of the meal, you can put the pan in a 375°F oven at this point and let them cook in there for 30 to 40 minutes instead of on the stove.

  4. When the endives are very tender, remove the lid (and the foil, if you used it), return the pan to the stove if it's been in the oven, and cook over medium heat until any liquid in the pan evaporates and the endives start to brown. Turn the endives over and cook them until they are browned all over. Note that if you added sugar in Step 2, you'll need to watch them quite carefully at this point, since the added sugar will make them brown more quickly. Serve them hot or warm.

Makes 4 servings Braised Belgian Endives.

User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
from bitter to sweet!, Member eleanorlb

I love bitter greens but sometimes don't want them quite so bitter. This simple, yummy recipe softens them up nicely (literally and figuratively!) and takes a vegetable most of us associate only with crunchy salads in a totally new direction. I like these as a side dish for roast chicken or other meats, but I have also piled them on toasted levain bread (especially with walnuts), and then melted Gruyere or another cheese over the top, for a kind of open-faced endive gratin sandwich. Not the prettiest food, maybe, but totally delicious.

10 out of 10 people found this helpful.

See all 5 reviews

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