Grilled Endives With Garlic and Balsamic Vinegar

Grilled Endives With Garlic and Balsamic Vinegar on a platter

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 6 mins
Total: 11 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
98 Calories
9g Fat
4g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 98
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 108mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 125mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Endives, also known as Belgian endives, or Dutch witlof, are often treated as a salad green and added to salads yet this unusual leafy vegetable has much more to offer. In French cuisine, endive is braised or prepared as a gratin with ham, a specialty from northern France and Belgium.

For a light side dish that is a delicious partner to grilled fish, try grilling them, either on an outdoor grill or under your oven grill using the broiler. Oven broiler settings, unlike outdoor grills, are either on or off and don’t give you the option to adjust the heat. Under the oven broiler, the endives might be done faster than on an outdoor grill so adjust the cooking time as needed. Since the broiler can burn food quickly, make sure to stand by and closely supervise the cooking process. 

In this recipe endives are combined with a balsamic vinegar marinade. The sweetness of the balsamic vinegar works well to balance the endive's slightly bitter taste. 

Cooking the endives usually gets rid of the typical bitter taste but there are a few additional tricks to make endives less bitter. Cut out the core with a sharp knife and discard it. Additionally, cut the endives in half and soak them for a few minutes in warm water to draw out the bitter components. 

Also, to prevent the endives from turning bitter during storage, it needs to mimic their growing conditions. Endives grow in the dark. Because the chlorophyll in the leaves does not absorb any light, the leaves don’t turn green but get their typical blanched color instead. Store endives away from the light in the crisper drawer of your fridge, wrapped in damp dish towel. They are best used within a week. 

The endives taste best hot and straight from the grill. Since they only need a few minutes, your main dish should be almost ready when you start these so everything is ready at the same time.



  • 6 head endives, halved

  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Grilled Endives With Garlic and Balsamic Vinegar ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Preheat grill to medium heat.  Combine olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and thyme in small bowl.

    Olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and thyme in a bowl with a spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Brush mixture onto both sides of each endive half. Sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper. 

    Seasoned endives on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Place onto grill and cook for 6 minutes turning once.

    Seasoned endives on a grill

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. When endives have wilted and are lightly browned, remove from heat and serve.

    Grilled Endives With Garlic and Balsamic Vinegar on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck


  • Keep a close eye on it while grilling to ensure that it does not burn or overcook.