Counting Our Veggies

Please join us as we focus on learning about and trying one vegetable each week.

Week Two: Belgian Endive


Today we went to Hy-Vee. Their produce section is really spectacular. To me, it’s kind of like the Von Maur of produce sections. Even my kids get really excited to see all the beautiful fruits and vegetables. They always want to buy one of everything. Today, they wanted more fennel. I told them maybe next week…

Our mission today was to see if they had Belgian endive. My goal with this week’s vegetable selection is to recreate my favorite salad from Timpone’s in Urbana, IL. Their menu lists it as “Warm Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad”, but a good part of the actual salad is Belgian endive, which I have never noticed in a store, let alone purchased or prepared. This salad consists of arugula, Belgian endive and a spicy tomato vinaigrette dressing, topped with a warm piece of goat cheese and served with yummy garlic toast. We were lucky that Hy-Vee had a nice little pile of Belgain endive. Now, the challenging part of this endeavor was to come up with some version of their spicy tomato vinaigrette.

After some thought and some Googling, I found this dressing recipe, from Simply Scratch, and decided to give it a try. I added a clove of garlic for good measure. Lucie and I thought that the dressing tasted pretty good on its own.

Lucie was all smiles when it came time to prepare the endive. She though it was a cute little vegetable.

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She is also a big fan of goat cheese and garlic bread, so I thought she would love this recipe.

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The moment of truth: Lucie said, “Whoa! Mama, this is bitter! I do not like endive!”

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At least, she was happy eating the goat cheese and garlic toast.

Overall, I thought our experiment today was a pretty good substitute for my favorite salad at Timpone’s. The salad dressing isn’t quite right, but I would definitely eat it again.

I am hopeful that another attempt at Belgian endive might win Lucie over. Maybe cooking it in some way will be helpful, as it was with fennel. Take a look at our Pinterest board for Belgian endive to see what we are considering for later this week.

I will leave you with this picture because it makes me laugh. It shows Lucie reading to Theo from, “The Veggie Book“, as she calls it. Theo is having quite a reaction to whatever Lucie is describing to him. Edible: An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Food Plants is the book they are reading from. She just loves reading it!

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Thanks for visiting,



A few words from Lucie:

We tried Belgian endive today. I give it two thumbs down. I didn’t like it because it was bitter. I might like it if we cook it, or fry it or try it in another way. I am still excited about trying many other vegetables.


7 thoughts on “Week Two: Belgian Endive

  1. I am all caught up on the blog. Overall, im giving your blog 2 thumbs up. I enjoy the discriptions of your experiments followed by the photos of the food and expressions. It seems to be true that a person can like nearly anything, it is just a matter of finding the personal preference for preperation.

  2. I think Grandpa and I will have to try the veggies you are trying too.

  3. Jen – I just stumbled across this post whilst searching for a recipe for Timpone’s salad dressing on the goat cheese salad. I moved out of Urbana three years ago, so I’m stuck trying to recreate it on my own. I can access arugala, endive, and goats cheese (I’m in Ireland, actually, which is full of goats), but I’m on my own with the dressing. I made it once before, and three differences made it closer to Timpone’s, in my opinion, than the one you linked to: I used cooked tomatoes, a bit of oregano, and spicy chili oil – it needs that heat! I tried to get the chef to give me the recipe on several occasions, but he never would, so I guess we’ll never really know what goes into it.

    • Thank you for your tips on the dressing, Melissa. Could you share your dressing recipe? I haven’t tried making it since this post, but I would like to try again soon.

      • Hi Jen – I just made some tonight and I used canned tomatoes (just chopped/diced tomatoes) which I then chopped down to a pretty pulpy liquid, about a quarter to half cup. The spice came from jarred red chiles, also chopped down finely. I added in some minced onion and garlic, red wine vinegar and olive oil, salt, pepper, about a tbsp of sugar, thyme and oregano. My husband swore it was the best replication I’ve ever made, and I had to admit it was darn close – we ate the entire batch on our salads. I have plenty of tomatoes left, so I’ll probably make another batch this week – it might be nice on grilled chicken or fish, too. Or on anything 🙂

      • Thank you! I can’t wait to give your version a try.

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