Endive is a leaf vegetable that is on the bitter side. The plant is from the dandelion tribe. Endives are rich in minerals and vitamins like folate, Vitamin A and K and also high in fiber.
The plant is said to have originated in Egypt or Indonesia. It is also said to have been discovered by a farmer, Jan Lammers in Belgium. The roots of endive or chicory used to be dried and ground and consumed as a coffee substitute. Jan, the farmer forgot few of the roots that started to sprout in the shed. On tasting this he quite like the bitter flavour and thus the cultivation of Belgian endive began.
Endives can be used in soups and in salads they are often a lettuce substitute. They can be eaten raw, grilled, baked, sauteed, and even stir-fried.