This is a year round favorite in our house. We love any meal where a vegetable takes center stage.
This is Belgian endive or, as we call it here in Holland, witlof. This is a delicious vegetable that can be used in a salad or cooked. Eaten raw is not everyone's favorite as endive is bitter to the taste but, once cooked, it is a mild and tasty vegetable.
To prepare the witlof for cooking, all you have to do is cut off the end and remove the core with your paring knife which does taste bitter if eaten. You can see the core very well on the photo and simply try to score around it to remove. Boil the witlof in a pan full of water to cover. I boil them anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes depending on how large it is. It will go a little glassy when cooked.
Sprinkle some breadcrumbs in the bottom of a baking dish. Witlof continues to release moisture even after being drained and this help soak it up while baking.
Drain your witlof well and wrap each piece in a piece of ham. I like using parmaham but you can use any kind you like. Chop 2 or 3 spring onions and sprinkle over the ham wrapped witlof. Now sprinkle a layer of cheese again using any kind you like. I use Gouda cheese.
Place in an 350F/180C oven for about 25 minutes. Serve hot with noodles or boiled potatoes.
Note: An alternative is to fry some chopped bacon and sprinkle this over the witlof instead of wrapping in ham. If you have never tried this vegetable, I would give it a try. It is a tasty and healthy meal that tastes good in any season. If you still like to eat more meat then serve this as a side dish.
Bon appetit or eet smakelijk!