Endive Fake Risotto

Today I have the pleasure to introduce you to another irresistible quick, healthy and super yummy vegetarian recipe. The Endive Fake Risotto. Endive, native to Asia Minor is a curly-leafed plant and a close cousin to chicory, radicchio, and Belgian endive. It has a with a crisp texture and robust flavor with sweeter inner leaves. In addition to having a great taste, it’s also a nutritional plant. Indeed is a good source of vitamins A, K, and vitamins of the B group and minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, and potassium. It also helps to prevent cataract, macular degeneration, anemia and development of certain types of cancer. It aids digestion and improves the function of liver and gallbladder. Kaempferol, substance found in endive, has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, analgesic, and anti-allergic.

In the Italians kitchen, you may find this dish prepared in different ways. In Rome, it’s done like a soup with tomatoes (super comfy during the colder days), but I prefer the way they make it in the Calabrian region, a bit drier and without tomatoes. This recipe has been revisited by my family and passed on through the new generations, reaching the result I’m about to write.


for 2 people:

  • 200g Rice 
  • A large bunch of Endiva 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 chili pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tblsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and parmesan cheese just enough


  1. Cut the bunch bottom and chop the endive into smaller pieces of 5 cm each (a bit less than 2 inches).
  2. Put the chunks into a large pot (the one you would use for cooking pasta), cover with water and bring to boil.
  3. In the meantime, add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and fry 2 garlic cloves and a whole chili (it depends how spicy you like, I’ll go for spicy!!) until the garlic gets golden on both sides.
  4. After 5 minutes of the boiling time, drain the endive into the saucepan (I help my self with a colander spoon as you need to save the water to cook the rice). You want to get them nicely sauteed for which keep stirring from time to time until all the water evaporates.
  5. Leave the pot to boil, add salt, rice and follow the cooking instruction listed on the pack. Save a glass of water from the pot for later. While you waiting, beat an egg into a bowl with some parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt.
  6. Drain the rice and place it back into the pot with the endive and git it a good mix. Turn off the heat, add the egg and amalgamate the all joining some water from the cooking if need moister. The rice is meant to be slightly soggy so don’t make it dry.
  7. Serve it with grated parmesan cheese (I’m greedy on this!) and Buon Appetito!

Did you know about endive?

  • Belgian farmer has “discovered” Belgian endive in 1830 when he found that roots of chicory can sprout and produce creamy-colored leafy heads when stored in wet, dark conditions. Even though this “new” plant is only a variety of common chicory, it soon became popular as a new type of vegetables called “white gold”, better known as “witloof” today.
  • Variety of endive called escarole has a central head with smooth, upright, wide and flat, green leaves with serrated edges and thick leaf stalks.
  • Covering of endive with baskets, boxes or pots during a period of 2 to 4 weeks (a process called blanching) is used to reduce the amount of bitter compounds in the leaves.



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