Forcing Belgian Endive


It’s time. Time for a mid-winter salad crop from the cellar. Time to force some roots.

The not-so-nice-looking item in the photo is one of the many roots in the cellar from the 2010 harvest of Witloof Chicory. There’s two bins of these guys – grown on our small city lot aside other root veg. No, no they don’t look tasty, but the creamy white belgian endive you may recognize will be. Or at least I hope it will be.

You get to


8 Responses

  1. Wow. That makes such great sense for our winters. I knew that endives were grown in the dark, but I had no idea they could be carried over into winter like that.

    Do you do the forcing in tubs in your cellar?

  2. Mike says:

    In my experience, Belgian endive is a very tenacious root and will no doubt provide you with some beautiful chicons.:) Can’t wait to see them. You are one of the few people I know that grows these..very nice.

  3. Allan – I know, heh?! I think winter slaws, forced roots, and sprouts will be our answers to winter non-root veg eating. I’ll do the forcing outside the cellar as it’s the warmer temps that will spur them on – I’ll ‘plant them’ in my cool-but-warmer basement.

    Mike – Glad to hear it! As a newbie, it’s always promising to hear something you’re about to tackle has a high probability of success.

  4. I would have never even THOUGHT about this… how did you learn this could be done? That is what I love about you… you learn, then you do. I cannot wait to see your “crop” !
    I am looking for your “Tweet This”
    did you?
    And congrats for being on CBC. I did not see it – I hears about it from Gail Hall who saw it. The AB Culinary tourism day in Ryley was really fantastic… baby steps Alberta – we have to increase our pace – but good stuff.

  5. V – root cellaring books usually cover it. Both the Bubels’ book and Eliot Coleman do this. I’m keen to do baby beet greens this way.

    I’m working on the *social networking* stuff. May even have it emailable to your inbox soon.

  6. Greg says:

    “Forcing Belgian endive” sounds like some kind of World War II lingo.

  7. arlene says:

    Have you tried sprouting? I’ve sprouted enough fresh greens from seeds I get from a family organic farm in Manitoba to feed out family of 4 (two of the 4 are teen boys) in about 6 sq inches of counter space. The sprouters stack, (you can use a jar, but I never have luck with that) and take very little work (rinse twice a day). Delicious greens for salads or sandwiches. A half teaspoon of seed goes a long way sprouted. I know, it’s not strictly local if the seed is from Manitoba, but there is a lot of seed that could be available from Alberta.

  8. Kevin says:

    Not yet – but clearly a good idea. I save enough arugula seed myself to make a project worthwhile, for ex. Thanks for the reminder.

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