Caramelized Endive with Brown Butter Sage Sauce


In my daily life, I consider myself a simple person who takes pleasure in the simple things in life. But when it comes to recipes, I often overlook the simple in favour of the fancy. We food bloggers are always trying to come up with some new and different combination to catch people’s attention. It is something of an occupational hazard, then, that we forget about the simple preparations in our efforts to grab a little bit of the spotlight. It’s not just that we are attention hogs…really it’s more about trying to come up with some new, fun recipes. Because that’s clearly where we find a great deal of joy in the kitchen. But sometimes it is at the expense of the more simple, straightforward recipes and it’s always good to get back to those. Whenever I do, I am reminded of how good simple can be.

This recipe is incredibly simple and in being so, is also incredibly good.  I’ve been fortunate to receive several shipments of California endive, and fortunately, they last a good while in the refrigerator if stored properly.  But I don’t like to let this fresh, healthy vegetable languish too long and I was racking my brains for something different to do with them.  Of course, my brain went all fancy-schmancy, trying to think of gourmet dishes with lots of ingredients.  But I have come to love endive for the simplicity of its flavour, the crispness, the slight bitterness, the nuttiness that comes out when it is cooked.  I honestly can’t tell you the wherefors and the whys of how this recipe came to me.  It just did, and I instantly recognized it as a good idea.  Let’s face it, anything with browned butter is a good idea.  And I just knew that the nuttiness of the sauce would complement the nuttiness of the caramelized endive.

The Results:  Do I really need to give you a results section for this one?  Really?  Because as I said, anything with browned butter is a good idea.  I’d bathe in browned butter if I could.  But yes, this was an excellent, simple little dish and really a great way to showcase the caramelized endive.  The sage got all nice and crispy, too, which was an unexpected bonus in my eyes.  And oh, the browned butter.  Really, it was heaven, picking up the endive with my fingers and practically sucking the sauce out from between the leaves.  I could have eaten the whole recipe on my own.  I didn’t offer it to my children at all, but my husband, who heretofore hasn’t been a huge fan of cooked endive, was fully enamoured of this recipe as well.  A simple, fast, delicious side dish easy to make and immensely gratifying.  Pair it with anything you want, I don’t care…just make it!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Discover Endive. All opinions expressed are mine.

Caramelized Endive with Brown Butter Sage Sauce
Caramelized Endive:
2 tbsp olive oil
4 heads California Endive, halved lengthwise
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown Butter Sage Sauce:
3 tbsp salted butter
8 to 10 fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For the caramelized endive, heat oil in medium skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Place endive in skillet, cut-side down and cook until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Carefully turn endive and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, until tender. Remove from skillet to a platter and tent with foil.

For the sauce, melt butter and in skillet over medium heat.  Add sage and cook until butter is browned and fragrant and sage is crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Drizzle over endive and sprinkle with grated parmesan. Serve immediately.

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  1. says

    Oooh. I don't think I've ever had endive any way but fresh and I'm kicking myself now! This looks amazing, especially with the brown butter. I would bathe in it too if I could. SO good.

  2. says

    I adore Belgian endive! It has such a unique, wonderful flavor. I've never had it caramelized and can only imagine how good that is. Your dish looks terrific. I guess I don't really have the same issue of coming up with new, fancy dishes since mine are dreamed up for me (lucky me). :)

  3. says

    Anything with brown butter is going to be incredible, but endive is going to be truly special. This looks amazing Carolyn! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Katrina112 says

    Anything is delicious as long as it is combined with butter. The recipe is simple but the outcome is perfect and elegant. How I wish I could also do such things.VZ 58

  5. says

    Hi Carolyn,

    This is pure genius! Plus, I think you've discovered a whole new line of skin care products (Browned Butter Body Wash!). We eat a lot of endive too, and any recipe that is both delicious and simple is sure to become a favorite. Can't wait to try it!


  6. says

    Yumm! Endive has become a staple in my kitchen. I have year-round access to my backyard sage plant (living in Calif's mild climate). I even make browned butter sage and refrigerate it for later use. The sagey flavor is what I love, and don't have to have the crispy sage leaves.

  7. acommunaltable says

    There is definitely something to be said for the KISS principle – and this dish is proof of that!!! Brown butter and endive – simple and sublime!!

  8. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says

    I couldn't agree with you more, browned butter makes everything better. This sounds amazing.

  9. Lynn says

    Anything with browned butter is always good. I know what you mean about overlooking the simple things, it's good to go back to basics every once in awhile.

  10. Lora @cakeduchess says

    Fabulous way to eat endive, i love brown butter and sage sauces usually with pasta. This is healthy and tasty.

  11. says

    Carolyn, in France we serve a Belgian version which is endives carmelized in butter, sugar and lemon but I'm loving your version with the sage. Absolutely delicious! Love the photo.

  12. Emily @ Life on Food says

    You're right these are simply but they look delicious. I am not too familiar with using endives in the kitchen but I think I can handle this recipe.

  13. Pâte à Chew says

    This looks AMAZING! What a great dish. And yes, I'm sure many of us would like to also bathe in brown butter :)

  14. says

    The title made me swoon! Cooked endive has got to be (for me) one of the greatest under-discovered vegetables of our time. Dramatic? Maybe…but just look at that stuff on the plate. It's singing! Theresa

  15. says

    I love sage, this sounds lovely! And looks gorgeous! I am a simple girl too, but when it comes to recipes…it is more fun to make them more involved, LOL! Hugs, Terra

  16. AvocadoPesto says

    This sounds delicious. I recently bought endive for the first time and have been looking for recipes to try it out with!

  17. spiciefoodie says

    I love simple recipes, and there are many in my repertoire. But I am also a naturally curious person, so I experiment with flavors and food alot. Your endives look delicious. I haven't cooked them myself yet. Thanks for sharing.

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