Can you imagine storing chicory roots in a cellar and finding out later that what you left behind sprouted, grew leaves, and turned into a tangy gourmet vegetable?
That, ladies and gentlemen, is how Belgian farmer Jan Lammers told his story in 1830 when the endive was apparently born.
The B.C. Belgian endive harvest continues today in Abbotsford through the Van Eekelen family, who offer recipes, video webisodes featuring celebrity chef Ned Bell, and other compelling endive content through www.endive.ca.
Van Eekelen family: the people behind B.C. Belgian endive grown in Abbotsford
Fraser Valley mayors, local chefs, and host of luminaries shared in the exciting marketing launch, which enlightened attendees on the vegetable.
For some guests, it was the first time they’d ever heard of an endive. But after trying some of the culinary creations using nature’s “perfect scoop,” they won’t soon forget their encounter with the dazzling flavours.
“It’s the only fresh year-round vegetable in the country,” said Braden Douglas, principal with Relevention.
Restaurant 62 chef Jeff Massey created a unique flavour palate that emphasized sweet, savory, and bitter for the endive celebration.
His yummy creations included:
- Fresh Tofino dungeness crab salad with chives and pickled salary in endive cups
- Endive stuffed with premium Ahi tuna and smoked salmon tartar with green apple and shallots
- Seared New Zealand lamb medallions with orange braised endive and chorizo sausage
- Seared Qualicum Beach scallops with caramel and balsamic glazed endive
- Sesame glazed triple A Canadian beef with spicy endive kimchee
A dessert endive filled with dark chocolate mousse, plus an endive lime-and-coconut sorbet, also met with loud “MMMMs” from the high-energy audience.
To bring out the flavours even more, three B.C. wineries—Township 7, Chandra Estate, Mt. Lehman—poured their vinic specialties at Restaurant 62.
Jeff & Angela Dhillon of Chandra Estate Winery, Randy Theberge of Township 7, and Charleen & Vern Siemens of Mt. Lehman Winery
pour for guests of The Endive Affair
If you are in the market for B.C. Belgian endive, look for it at IGA, Safeway, Save-On Foods, Pricesmart, Thrifty’s Foods and Choices Markets.
-Going green is good, unless you’re an endive; fresh endive is white with light yellow tips.
-Endive like cool, dark places; keep your endive refrigerated and out of direct light.
-Endive have bitter bottoms; be sure to cut off the lower portion of the endive to avoid a bitter surprise.
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen Rake. All rights reserved.