stuffed belgian endive leaves w/ seasonal english peas

25 Jun

this was a seriously fun dish!  easy to make – fresh, light, healthy, perfect for summer on the patio.  easy clean-up.  can be served as an appetizer or main course if you make extra and serve with a light salad or steamed veggie. perhaps some organic carrots or corn would compliment this nicely… stick with the whole texture theme 😉

i love belgian endives!  i don’t exactly remember how i first discovered them — i think someone put them in a salad and i enjoyed the crunch so much i fell in love.  they have a unique flavour, as well.  you may notice when you click on that link that it doesn’t take you to the endive page in wikipedia – it takes you to chicory… which is apparently part of the endive.  that is to say, the endive leaves grow out of the chicory root – in a dark place, away from sunlight. they are so unique and i find them fascinatingly delicious.  also – even though they are titled belgian endives, they are actually most widely grown in france – cool fact 🙂

simple, easy ingredients here – including the endive.  they are usually available at most grocery stores.  if you can’t find a belgian endive – try romaine lettuce leaves, or cabbage.

– endives

– 2 small vidalia onions

– 2 medium tomatoes

– 1 – 1.5 cup couscous

– english peas

begin by chopping your onions and dicing them using a food processor, if you have one.  otherwise, let’s hope you are really good with a chef’s knife 😉  it’s better to dice the onions small so they blend in with the couscous filling! saute on medium heat with a couple spins of EVOO in the pan.  i actually used butter in this, but i’ve since decided to cut dairy intake even further, so i am using olive oil when i saute from now on.  i’ll talk more about that later…

quarter your tomatoes and then toss them in with the onions.

squish the tomatoes to release their juices and create a sauce. let that simmer for a bit.  we are going to cook our couscous right in this.*

meanwhile, remove a few outer leaves of the endives.  cut off about an inch from the end opposite the leaf-tips.  they will naturally begin to separate.  rinse in a colander or salad-spinner {my fav!} and set aside on a large plate.  keep the smaller inside leaves for later.

*back to pan – and add in water — the ratio is about 1 : 1 for couscous.  i hate to say it, but i don’t really measure.  i just add in at least a cup and if i need a little more as the dish is simmering, i add it in.  you can add more, but you can’t take out — so i just wing it.  add water to onion and tomato mix and bring to a boil. toss in couscous, a little S&P, then bring to a boil again  – then stir and remove from heat.

lightly fluff with a fork then toss in your freshly-shelled english peas.

quickly transfer to a large bowl.

chop the remaining inside of the endive and serve with atop the cous cous and leaves like so :

scoop and savour.  yum yum yum!  i made extra, so i could serve this as our main course with sliced avocado alongside.

11 Responses to “stuffed belgian endive leaves w/ seasonal english peas”

  1. Food Stories June 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    I had no idea that chicory and endive were related … how fascinating!


  2. anthony0358 June 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    ok I have to think about this one, but it looks yummy


  3. Food Follower June 26, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    I’m glad your getting to use peas! This looks delicious.


    • cooking with audrey June 26, 2012 at 8:30 am #

      getting used to?! i love these things, always have!!! 🙂 thanks for stopping by!!


      • Food Follower June 26, 2012 at 8:56 am #

        Woops I reread my comment, and I see it’s poorly worded. What I meant is that you are using a lot of peas! (I love them too).


      • cooking with audrey June 26, 2012 at 8:58 am #

        hehe, yeah — finding ways to use them other than just shelling and munching 😉 do you have any suggestions?!?


      • Food Follower June 26, 2012 at 9:04 am #

        Perhaps in pasta, risotto, or salad? I love them plain as well. I also saw someone use peas in pesto (with fresh mint as well), but I would hate to blend delicious fresh peas. I feel they are best left whole to preserve their awesome taste!


      • cooking with audrey June 26, 2012 at 9:06 am #

        i agree! risotto!!! the other day i was shopping and i forgot to add that to my list but had also forgotten the name… i really want to try to make risotto sometime… i bet you are so right too – that would go great with the peas! thanks for the tip!!


      • Food Follower June 26, 2012 at 9:06 am #

        Haha no problem! Can’t wait to see what you do next.


  4. Becca's Green Kitchen June 28, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    This looks amazing! Belgian endives are slightly intimidating to me (it’s always a little scary/fun to learn a new veggie) but now that i know what to do with them…they just might find their way into my shopping basket. Thanks Audrey!! I LOVE peas too. 🙂



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