"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." ~ Charles W. Eliot
"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook - try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!" ~ Julia Child
"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." ~ Louisa May Alcott

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dutch specialty foods - witlof or Belgian endive

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!


Nancy said...

It is very good, I have had it many times at your house. You didn't show the yummy noodles you made with it last night and they are my favorite, especially with snitzle.
Maybe not spelled right but you know what I mean.
Talk to you soon on Skype.
Love Mom

Susan in SC said...

Hmm, when I come to visit my corner of the garden, perhaps you will fix this for me?! It sounds delicious. It is like a turnip?

Linda said...

This is one of those vegs. that I've avoided. My dd serves it once in a while, but I was put off by it's reputation of being bitter. So I'm glad to have the info about how to prep it.

Rosie said...

Thank you for showing us how to cook endive; it always look such an interesting vegetable but I have memories of, years ago, a french teacher bring endive into the classroom for us students to try and it was so bitter tasting:)

Melanie said...

Can you believe I've never had endive? I've seen it before, but it's not very popular here, so I've never heard anything about what to do with it. Your recipe looks delicious, so I would love to try it. Have to wait until the weather gets cooler though. I'm not turning the oven on when the temps have been 95-100+ degrees F! ;-)