While these are sold in America, I had never personally eaten them. Here in Belgium though, they're a solid staple! They were even "invented" in Brussels, Belgium, when a man forgot a chicory plant in his dark cave, only to find it weeks later, sprouting into a new vegetable! Actually, we often call this veggie the Belgian Endive!
There really is no way around them, so I had to learn to like them. But they were just so bitter, no amount of mayo that I piled on top could convince me to eat a salad of this stuff willingly.
Then I happened across a handy tip - cut out the bitter centers, only eating the far less bitter leaves.
You know what? It worked. Raw endive leaves are delicious (try using them as "boats" to serve Tuna & Peach Salad for a true Belgian experience!) and the resulting salads are very refreshing.
I have a special technique for removing the centers with minimal waste. First, wash the veggie, removing any damaged outer leaves. Then cut a slice off the bottom of the plant, about as thick as your finger. The outer leaves should no longer be attached to the plant; set them to the side.
Repeat these steps (cut a finger-thick slice off the bottom, remove the leaves...) until you have finished with the veggie. You can now stack the leaves up and easily slice them into thin ribbons.
This salad is very easy to double or even triple when cooking for a crowd or prepping sides for a week of lunches. Yes, it keeps well in the fridge for a day or two.