Gluten-free, Side Dishes, Vegan/Vegetarian

Grilled Organic Endive Back to Basics

Loreto April 27, 2018

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Grilled Organic Endive Back to Basics utilizes the amazing flavor of beautifully grown endive adding a nice char from grilling and finishing with nice notes of extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon zested fleur de sel and Mizuna greens giving us a wonderful spring side dish that is simple and purely delicious!

Song of the day: “Family Affair” by Mary J. Blige.

Grilled Organic Endive Back to Basics

Grilled organic Endive Back to basics takes us from the substantial comforts foods of winter and into the more brighter, lighter, easier to make dishes of Spring, thanks to amazing local organic growers that we have in our area.



Organic is such a heavily used word these days in the world of food. We trust that what says organic is really that, grown from the simplicity of earth’s natural science and not modified by man’s means other than the passion and care that is needed to produce these amazing vegetables. This brings me to getting to know your growers and really trusting that the products that they are offering are authentic, natural, and of course delicious and nutritious. I have found one such grower his name is Graham from Sparrow’s Nest. Once you meet Graham you will automatically experience his passion for what he grows and how excited he is to share what he is growing in his gardens. You often see him munching on raw smidges of this and crispy smidges of that with a smile that goes from ear to ear. I love when I can experience these moments in time capturing something so real and beautiful, and the curiosity that breaks the uncomfortableness of meeting someone for the first time. I was really pleased when Nicoletta and I first met Graham, the sparkle in his eye when describing his vegetables and his excitement at what was coming, really had me intrigued. I am one who truly believes in energy and how it affects us, and truly believe that what Graham and Sparrow’s Nest Organics had to offer was something spectacular and worth experiencing. It has been a few years now and I am sure you remember us mentioning his stand which is located at The Old Strathcona Farmers Market and you already know  Nicoletta and I love farmers markets!

One of the things Graham likes to grow is endive and I have to tell you it is utterly amazing. Beautiful light pastel colors matched with incredible crispness and a sweet with a hint of bitter that is so wonderful. I too, eat it raw. It is great in salads but today we are grilling it and pairing it with another jewel we found in Salt Springs Island, a fleur de sel infused with lemon zest, this finishing salt is so delicious and just adds bursts of flavor to any ingredient it influences. If you want a great finishing salt, check out Salts Spring Sea Salt, they have a wonderful variety of sea salts that you can buy online (no sponsor).

Grilled Organic Endive Back to Basics

We know where this beautiful vegetable came from, let’s see where we can go with this Grilled Organic Endive Back to Basics!

I always think of grilling when I see this endive and up until now I have not grilled it but this time it will not escape my creative flow and a nice cast grilling pan all olive oiled up is getting hot on the stove. I love the grilling marks that happen and how that char brings such a nice subtle smokiness to the mix. This step demands your attention as you do not want to burn these delicate beauties; that would take the smokiness to an unbearable level and add such a bitterness that would not be pleasant.

Grilled Organic Endive Back to Basics

Once the endive is grilled, the next steps are so easy. Into a platter they go, a splash of e.v.o. oil, a sprinkling of the fleur de sel, some nice lemon zest and juice and to finish a dash of Mizuna greens which I also picked up from Graham at Sparrow’s Nest. Don’t you just love the simple beauty of this dish? Very zen-like, and the aroma of that slight smoke, accompanied by the lemon zest and juice, is so refreshing it makes me feel healthy just looking at it. Don’t forget a crackle of black pepper!

Grilled Organic Endive Back to Basics

Enough looking, now it is time to really experience this Grilled Organic Endive Back to Basics. I love that the endive still has a crunch to it and as you break through this juiciness, it just floats into your mouth filling it with that sweet/bitter combination of the endive, and your taste buds come to life as zests and juice of the lemon play on your tongue with bright notes of the fleur de sel which tones the bitter component really well and those nice morsels of black pepper add a nice spice to the totality of this dish.

I have to tell you about this Mizuna, it is so wonderful as it marries well with the endive and everything else that is going on here but it has this wonderful finish of a subtle wasabi-mustardy flavor that finishes each bite beautifully. Winters is at its end and with it those long cooking stews and soups, all that cozy food. It is Spring and we are craving health and vitality and wonderful fresh foods to remind us how beautiful earth life can be. This may not be the “be all of end all” but it is a wonderful fresh start and one I know will play wonderfully with your palate, eyes, and nose. Give it a try and send us a note with your thoughts. We always love hearing from you and answering back!

Happy Spring!


Song of the day: “Family Affair” by Mary J. Blige.

Grilled Organic Endive Back to Basics

Grilled Organic Endive Back to Basics

  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian/vegan


Grilled Organic Endive Back to Basics utilizes the amazing flavor of beautifully grown endive adding a nice char from grilling and finishing with nice notes of extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon zested fleur de sel and Mizuna greens giving us a wonderful spring side dish that is simple and purely delicious!


  • 12 endive
  • 3 tablespoons evo oil
  • lemon zested fleur de sel
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup Mizuna greens


  1. Wash and dry endive.
  2. Cut into quarters and place in a bowl. Drizzle in 1/2 the olive oil and season with just a touch of salt and pepper.
  3. Take a cast iron grilling pan and bring to a med to high heat. Place endive into the pan and cook till nice grilling marks appear on the surface, about 4 minutes. Turn and do the same fo the other side. Continue until all the endive is grilled.
  4. Place endive into a serving dish. Grate lemon zest over top and drizzle remainder of the e.v.o. oil.
  5. Finish with a nice dusting of fleur de sel and a sprinkling of the Mizuna greens. Squeeze some lemon juice over top, and it is ready to serve.
  6. Enjoy!


  1. If you do not have the grilling pan you can do them on the BBQ. Make sure to oil the grill so they do not stick. If you have a vegetable tray for the BBQ better yet, but again oil it a bit.
  2. If you cannot find Mizuna greens use one of your favorite microgreens.
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Grilled Organic Endive Back to Basics

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  • Avatar
    Reply Diane Galambos April 27, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Hello you two! I have to admit I am ambivalent about endives. They look lovely in the grocers. They appear so creatively in many appetizers. Yet… I often found them to be really hard to chew! Your recipe gives me pause to reconsider. You use organic and “homegrown” – no doubt that makes a difference – not to mention the grilling part. Will keep an open mind and give this a try! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 27, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      Hi Diane, yes the organic and locally grown ones are very tender. I to find the grocery ones to be a little tough but grilling does make them juicy and softer and the acidity from the lemon helps tenderize some too. I do hope you try this recipe and also find some good organic endive. let us know when you do, would love to hear if it worked for you!
      Thank you for your comment, and have a wonderful weekend!

  • Avatar
    Reply Elaine April 27, 2018 at 9:09 am

    We love endives! I recently used them in appetizers, stuffed with various fillings, but I’ve never grilled them! Trying this soon! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 27, 2018 at 1:51 pm

      Hi Elaine, wow stuffing them sounds amazing, what do you stuff them with? Yes grilling them really brings some nice flavors to the plate, and simple good quality olive oil always a great partner to endive!
      Thank you for checking this out!
      Happy Friday!

  • Avatar
    Reply Gabby G April 27, 2018 at 9:11 am

    This sounds wonderful! I’ve never grilled endives before, but this really makes me want to.
    I’ve only ate endives 2 different ways, mostly in a chopped salad with apple slices and walnuts, or wrapped in ham and cooked in a bechamel sauce, served with boiled potatoes. I like both of these recipes, so I’m sure I will love yours!
    I completely agree with you about organic, it’s a good thing that people are becoming more aware of it, but sadly it is still misunderstood.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 27, 2018 at 1:48 pm

      Hi Gabby your endive recipes sound so delicious and have me intrigued to try them. Endive is very popular in Italy and mostly used in salads but grilling it brings out a little of its sweetness and balances its usual bitterness out. The fleur de sel added such wonderful bites of hightened flavor and the lemon juice was perfect to bring a bit of freshness. You have to try the Mizuna greens, I love that subtle wasabi note it has, but by far the grilled endive remains the hero of this dish and Graham from Sparrows Nest does an amazing job growing it!
      Thank you for the lovely comment, and have a great weekend.

  • Avatar
    Reply crumbtopbaking April 27, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    I’ve never thought to grill endive but it looks delicious! The perfect side for grilling season! I also think it’s great that you get to know your local growers. I’m sure Graham will sell out of endive after this post!! 😉

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 28, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      Hi Leanne it is nice to get to know our local growers and see that they are producing such amazing veggies. These endive are no exception. They are baby endive and so tender and not as face twisting bitter as the ones you find in your local grocery store. Grilling them really brought a little smoke and sweetness to the flavor notes and the embelishments of fleur de sel and good quality olive oil just sealed the deal. You are so right saying these are a perfect side to the grilling season, I can just imagine a tasty tender ribeye and some of these on the side, I am getting hungry! Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. I really enjoy reading them!
      Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Avatar
    Reply Nicole April 30, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Endive has never made my mouth water like this until now. Wow, this looks good! You’ve also just reminded me that I have to get over to Salt Spring Island this summer. Their farmers market is one of my favorites, and such a large amount of vendors for a small population.

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