The Endive Blog
California Endive Farms is proud to announce a continued partnership with five fabulous food bloggers. Over the course of the next six months, the five bloggers will feature endive in three separate recipes. We love the idea of partnering with food bloggers that feature our product in new and exciting ways. Let us provide you a brief introduction to each of our OnDivas before you make your way to their own sites!
Rachael Hutchins is the mastermind behind La Fuji Mama, a blog that celebrates experimenting with new and exciting flavors and products. Rachael’s experiences while living abroad in locations including Paris, Tokyo and Yokohama contribute to her worldly cuisine. She’s also dedicated to the idea of exposing the entire family, children included, to new flavors, which is an idea we love—the earlier the endive consumption begins, the better!
Dara Michalski of Cookin’ Canuck has recently shifted her approach to cooking in order to be more health conscious. As Dara says, “Healthy eating doesn’t need to equal boring food!” We are excited to see what delicious interpretations Dara comes up with endive, a food rich in vitamins and low in calories!
All Day I Dream About Food is the blog Carolyn Ketchum created to showcase the possibilities of low-carb, gluten-free food. Carolyn incorporates inventive flavors into dishes that won't ever make you feel guilty! Any diet should welcome the presence of our nutritious product, so we look forward to Carolyn’s creative incorporation of endive into her recipes!
Paula Jones created bellalimento, a blog that reflects her passion for Italian cooking and a farm to table approach. Not only does endive fit beautifully into her culinary style, but also has a unique path from the farm to the table. We love sharing our story and educating more people about endive and all of it's wonderful qualities.
Healthy Green Kitchen’s name is a clear reflection of the values of its author, Winnie Abramsom. Winnie’s approach to food incorporates home cooking, holistic nutrition and green living. She also promotes seasonal recipes, which is lucky for us because endive is always in season!
Here is one of the recipes from last year’s OnDiva campaign from Healthy Green Kitchen’s Winnie Abramson.
Endive, kale, and smoked salmon salad with avocado and pink grapefruit
1 head of California endive (I used red), ends trimmed off and chopped
1 big handful of Tuscan kale, chopped
1 pink grapefruit, segmented (chop the segments in half if they are large), plus 1-2 tablespoons of the juice that drains off when segmenting the grapefruit
1 perfectly ripe avocado, diced
3-4 ounces of naturally smoked wild smoked, chopped
1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1. In a medium bowl, combine chopped endive, kale, grapefruit segments, grapefruit juice, avocado, smoked salmon, and red onion.
2. Drizzle avocado or olive oil over the salad and mix well. Grind fresh pepper over the salad before serving. Serves 1-2.
It’s that time of year again. No, not the time to struggle with your New Year’s resolutions or to find that perfect Valentine’s Day gift—it’s Super Bowl time! The sporting event so many Americans wait for each year is finally upon us, which means an abundance of finger food is also fast approaching.
Standard Super Bowl fare often includes chicken wings, spinach dips, or practically anything in fried form. This year, we’d like to suggest some simple alternatives that can be just as satisfying as the usual Super Bowl Sunday snacks, but a bit more on the healthier end of the spectrum.
Endive leaves act as a fantastic substitute for the usual chips, crackers, or breads that accompany the spread of dips that often make an appearance at a Super Bowl party. Even the rather bland and boring vegetable trays can be spruced up with an addition of some endive leaves--you and your guests don’t have to be stuck choosing between celery or carrots every time you want a lighter snack!
So, whether you set out some leaves as an alternative to chips with your dip, or you make a platter of appetizers, surprise your guests with something new this year! We have some great endive recipes that you and your guests will enjoy during the big game
“Original Blue” Endive Boats
Point Reyes Original Blue cheese, crumbled
Walnut halves, toasted
1. Separate endive heads into single leaves.
2. Fan leaves out on platter.
3. Fill each leaf with about one tablespoon of cheese crumbles.
4. Place a walnut half on each spear, and drizzle with honey.
Recipe provided by the Giacomini Family of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company.
Endive and Ricotta Appetizer
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 tablespoons craisins
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh lemon thyme salt/pepper
1 ½ cups ricotta
2 endive heads
Honey to drizzle (optional)
1. Into a small bowl add: almonds, craisins, oil and thyme. Season with salt/pepper.
2. Place a dollop of ricotta onto endive leaf. Top with approximately 1 teaspoon of nut mixture.
3. Drizzle with honey if desired.
Recipe & photography provided by Paula Jones of Bell’alimento.
One of our News Years resolutions is to celebrate food.
We invite you to join us in our resolution!
We rounded up a few simple, healthy endive recipes to kick-start our journey into the New Year.
Whole Foods Green Garbanzo Hummus (My favorite way to enjoy endive- dipped in hummus!)
Enjoy and Happy New Year!
In bottom photo: Mary (far left), Aaron (our older brother), Molly and Melanie (our older sister) in a chicory field in the summer of 1996.
When Molly Collins propositioned her younger sister, Mary, with the opportunity to work on California Endive Farms’ blog, Mary didn’t hesitate. Our father, Rich Collins, has long fostered a passion for food and agriculture, with an emphasis on the connection between the two. Growing up, an endive salad was, and continues to be, on our table most evenings (whether the children wanted it or not). Our dad instilled in us an appreciation for good food, an appreciation that spans far beyond the finished product’s taste, and into the food’s journey from the farm to the table.
Molly has taken a winding path that has finally led her back to the endive business. Graduating from Chico State University in 2011 with a degree in Sociology, Molly took a job in retail in order to live in San Francisco. After nearly a year (and a quick realization that retail requires a very special type of employee), a serendipitous moment found Richard in need of a new marketing assistant while Molly was searching for a new job. Starting at California Endive Farms in September 2012, Molly has brought a fresh and youthful approach as she explores her passion for simple, healthy food in the world of marketing.
Mary’s official title as “Blog Consultant” seems almost overly sophisticated to the University of Montana sophomore. As a Literature major, Mary enjoys the creative process of writing and the opportunity to flex her literary muscles while working on the blog. Over the summers, she has worked on the Collins’ family farm in Davis, CA, harvesting fruits and vegetables, making jam and pies, and selling goods at farmers’ markets throughout the local area. Mary’s excited for the blog’s opportunity to introduce her to the world of food writing, an occupation that she hopes will be in her professional future as she explores her interest in writing and her, dare we say, obsession with food.
We’ve included the recipes for our favorite ways to eat endive. Molly loves the super simple appetizer snack of endive leaves dipped in hummus. If you’re looking to make your own creative dips, try our recipe for Four Light & Lively Dips.
Mary’s favorite recipe is the tried and true Salade d’Hiver, with the classic combination of pears, roasted walnuts and blue cheese dressed in a light vinaigrette. Mary’s younger taste buds did not always appreciate the combination, but dad’s insistence to include an endive salad with our childhood dinners seems to have finally paid off!
We hope you enjoy our blog and join us as we bring you our unique perspective on endive!
“I just saw one of your trucks on the road the other day!”
“One of them? That’s our only one!”
For the past thirty years, we have been delivering our endive to customers throughout Northern California. We are constantly told that people have seen one of our trucks, assuming we have multiple. In fact, not only do we have just one truck, we have primarily had one truck driver too.
Our President, Rich Collins (left) with our truck driver, Art Kamman (right).
Art Kamman has been our main driver since 1990! Most farms in Europe do not have dedicated individual truck drivers to deliver their endive so Art has probably handled more endive than any other truck driver in the world (Over the years, we estimate he has handled over 50 million pounds of endive!). After 23 years, Art plans to retire in the early months of 2013.
We recently changed our name from California Vegetable Specialties to California Endive Farms. With the new name came a beautiful new, shiny truck. Replete with highly visible and engaging graphics.
Our new truck also has a Cummins ISB engine, a 2010 Feds Emissions Escalator, a 2010 EPA Carb Emission Certification and a 2008 CARB EM certified clean idle system. Wow, that’s a whole bunch of truckie techno-babble. What does it mean? One very clean, efficient, low emissions truck, that’s what! Art tells us it is one smooth ride too!
For any of you who frequent the highways in California’s Bay Area and central valley, if you happen to see our new truck out on the road, know that it is the only dedicated endive delivery truck in America, proudly driven by our dedicated truck driver, Art Kamman.
With the holidays fast approaching, we thought we would round up a few links for healthy appetizers and salads using endive!
Wanting more? Visit our site for delicious endive recipes!
Look for endive in the produce section, next to other members of the chicory family.
‘Tis the season for family, friends, and most of all, food! The winter season brings about beautiful produce, such as apples, squash and winter greens, but typical holiday fare tends to favor a decadent, rather than light, preparation of these ingredients. Luckily, there are a few simple substitutes that can reduce your holiday season calorie intake without diminishing any of its deliciousness!
Because endive, unlike most other forms of lettuce, has a strength and rigidity to it, the leaves can be used to hold a variety of dips and salads. Switching out chips and crackers for leaves of endive not only reduces calorie consumption, but it boosts your nutritional intake as well! Take for example, a serving of crackers. An average serving contains 130 calories, 4.5 grams of fat and 21 grams of carbs (not to mention, who really eats only the 15 recommended crackers?). On the other hand, an entire head of endive contains only 15 calories, a multitude of vitamins and nearly as much potassium as a whole banana! These health benefits are simply an added plus to the refreshing crunch endive can contribute to a dish.
One recipe that will have even picky eaters exulting praises is our classic “Original Blue” Endive Boats. The ratio between effort and reward is definitely in your favor with this one—simply sprinkle blue cheese and walnuts in each endive leaf and top them with a drizzle of honey. Voila! An impressively delicious appetizer for your holiday gathering!
The Red Quinoa Salad in Endive Boats is another tasty and super nutritious option, not to mention the recipe can easily be prepared for a dinner party of six or sixty!
And if you’re feeling ambitious, try topping endive with the classic pairing of Herbed Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon. The little bit of extra effort is well worth the delicious bite you and your guests will experience!
So pick up some California-grown endive as you make your last minute grocery runs for the holidays, and when the holidays are over, don’t forget to continue to use endive as a chip and cracker substitute! An anonymous food blogger may even admit to plopping down on the couch with a head of endive in one hand and a tub of hummus in the other… a lazy snack that provides great taste and nutrition. Of course, you don’t have to settle for finger food—you can always get your daily dose of endive with a simple salad!
Over the years, we have had the good fortune to educate young and curious minds when students tour the endive farm here in Rio Vista. They most always arrive with a lot of questions and a lot of energy--both of which we greatly appreciate! We recently hosted the fourth and fifth grade classes from D.H. White Elementary School, which happens to be located just a few blocks from our facility.
*A "thank you" binder from a previous elementary school tour that Mr. Collins keeps in his office.
The classes from D.H. White had a little background on what we do here at California Endive Farms, but they seemed eager to learn more, asking questions such as…
“Why is endive considered a vegetable?”
“What makes it yellow?”
“How do you eat it?”
“How does it grow?”
“What do you do with the root?”
“What does it taste like?”
And one of our favorites…
“Why did you never give up?” (As someone who spent roughly a decade in the 1980s mastering the technique of growing endive, my dad, Rich Collins, loves the opportunity to teach children about the rewards of hard work and determination.)
After the tour, we sent each of the students home with a 3-pack of our endive and the students were thrilled! Who knew 9 and 10 year-olds could have so much enthusiasm for a relatively bitter vegetable? We love the idea of exposing such young taste buds to new flavors and experiences!
Sitting on my desk this morning, much to my delight, was a stack of “thank you” notes addressed to Mr. Collins from the students at D.H. White Elementary School. Here are a few of my favorites…
“Thank you for the endive. I loved my endive, it was delishish. I brought home my endive and the next day I went to my kitchen it was gone! My mom found out my brother did it. Thank you so much for the endive it’s so good!”
“Thank you so much for letting us visit your factory, and for letting us bring endives to our school. I didn’t really care for them very much even though we had ranch dressing. But I’m sure I’ll like it when I’m older. I also liked going into the freezer I hope I can visit your factory again soon!”
“Thank you for letting us to your endive factory. I liked the freezer. The reson I liked the freezer it was cold and snowe. The reason I like cold and snowe is cuse I love the snow and it is cold. I wish I lived in the snow.”
Last year Carolyn, the writer and recipe developer behind All Day I Dream About Food participated in our OnDiva Program. As a result, she created many delicious recipes using our Belgian endive. We love her recipe for Turkey Taco Endive Boats. If you want to test the taste buds of your own youngsters, try this kid-friendly dish!
If you are interested in experiencing your own tour of our endive farm, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, you may even walk away with some of our delicious, California-grown endive!
A few weeks ago, we got a call from the folks at Niman Ranch who asked if we would like to participate in a lunch for chefs from the Sacramento and Bay Area. The chefs were heading to our Delta neighborhood for a tour to learn about Niman Ranch’s lamb production, all of which is done humanely and sustainably. We could not resist the offer to serve our endive to a group of local chefs so, we happily agreed to bring our signature endive salad!
We arrived at the home of Ian and Margaret Anderson (lamb producers for Niman Ranch since the mid-1990s) ready to prepare lunch for about 100 chefs and guests! We could not have asked for a more gorgeous fall day, with perfect sunny skies and temperatures in the high seventies.
We made a traditional endive salad with Point Reyes blue cheese, roasted pecans, and pears- yum! Here is Mr. Endive himself in the early stages of salad prep…
Our endive salad was accompanied by grilled Niman Ranch lamb, a kale salad, and a potato salad. The chefs were a hungry bunch after their ranch tour - there were zero leftovers!
We had a fantastic time hanging out with the dedicated and passionate team at Niman Ranch. Anytime we get the chance to partner up with folks who are doing things with integrity, we are more than happy to lend our support. Next time you are picking up meat in the grocery store, keep Niman Ranch in mind. And of course, we recommend serving your meat with our delicious, California-grown endive. Here is the salad recipe we used at the lunch...enjoy!
1 T unseasoned rice vinegar
¼ t salt
1 t dijon mustard
3 T sunflower or olive oil
1 T finely chopped parsley
1 head of fennel, finely sliced
3 heads each red and white endives
1 rip D’Anjou or Bartlett pear
¼ C chopped roasted* pecans
¼ crumbled Point Reyes blue cheese
- Place vinegar, salt and mustard in bowl and whisk together. Slowly add oil, whisking until fully combined. Add parsley. Season to taste with ground black pepper.
- Cut pear in quarters. Remove core and slice into ½ inch pieces. Add to dressing and gently mix.
- Trim ¼ inch from bottom of endives and remove whole leaves. Repeat as necessary to remove interior leaves. Discard small center core section. Place leaves, cheese and pecans in salad bowl. Dress and toss. Serves 4.
(*roast pecans at 280-300F for 12-15 minutes until golden brown)
For the printable version of this recipe visit us at http://endive.com/node/66.