Witlof, literally ‘white leaf ’, was first discovered in Belgium around the middle of the 19th century. At the time, chicory roots were grown as an affordable alternative for coffee. But when left in the dark, they sprouted white leaves that turned out to be edible. The vegetable first became widely available in the Netherlands in the 1970s. Although not loved by all, the Dutch still consume about around 10 pounds of Belgian endive per person per year. This recipe was first published in Issue 17 of Dutch the magazine.
(Serves 4 as a salad or 2 as a main dish)
- 3 Belgian endives
- 1 small can mandarins, or 1 fresh orange
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
- Slice the Belgian endive in half horizontally, remove the ard core and slice the rest of the vegetable in half-inch strips.
- Drain the mandarins, but save the liquid. If using a fresh orange, peel and section, and save half of the
- fruit for the salad. Juice the other half.
- Toss the Belgian endive with 1 tablespoon of mandarin liquid/orange juice.
- Mix the mayonnaise with the vinegar and two tablespoons of mandarin liquid/orange juice.
- Mix the shallots and parsley with the Belgian endive, add the dressing, taste, and adjust the seasoning if desired.
- Fold in the cranberries and the mandarin or orange slices.
- Add in the walnuts or pecans if desired and serve.
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