Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W is for Witlof

W is for Witlof

Known as Witlof in Australia, it's also called Witlof Chicory and French or Belgian Endive. Witlof is a form of radicchio of a similar shape. It is produced by removing the young plant from the ground, trimming its roots and top and replanting it under sand in darkness until it produces a tight, anaemic-looking spear. Witlof is used a lot in Europe and I have Dutch friends who make a big specialty of preparing it. I enjoy it many ways, particularly in salads or as an hors d'oeuvres as shown in the recipe below. I am posting two recipes today because the Endive boats has appeared on this blog once or twice over the years and though delicious is not particularly different any more. It is,  however, a favourite of ours and we have often taken it to parties.

Endive Boats

1/2 Red or green pepper finely chopped

1/2 cup radishes finely chopped
1/2 cup carrot peeled & grated
2 Tbs shallot finely chopped
2 oz feta cheese, finely crumbled
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbs snipped fresh dill
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs olive oil
2 endives (20 leaves)
sprigs of dill for garnish

1. In a medium bowl combine first 8 ingredients - through dill - in another bowl whisk lemon juice and oil. Pour over mixture, stir to combine.


2. Spoon 1 tbs of filling into bottom 2/3 of each leaf. Garnish with small sprig of dill.

The recipe below is Australian and I assume by continental parsley they mean Italian or flat leaf.

Witlof braised in white wine

40 g butter

2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 large witlof, halved lengthways
160 ml (2/3 cup) dry white wine
Chopped fresh continental parsley, to serve

1. Step 1

2. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the witlof, cut-side down. Cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until browned.

3. Step 2

4. Add the wine and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until tender.

5. Step 3


6. Transfer the witlof to a serving dish. Pour over the wine mixture and sprinkle with parsley to serve

Have a great day
 

38 comments:

  1. Hi Jo - I agree - I love endive ... and W for Witlof - good word ... cheers Hilary

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    1. I do too. A Dutch friend makes a very good recipe with it too using rusks for a topping.

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  2. I might have had that before but didn't know what it was called. Now I know!

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    1. It's slightly bitter Cynthia, but I always enjoy it however it's prepared.

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  3. Witlof - I have never heard of that word before :) It sounds like a good word on the tongue, hope the vegetable is just as tasty.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. You're more likely to hear it called Belgian Endive over here Tasha.

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  4. I might surprise summer visitors with your 1st idea..would make a nice entree

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    1. Something we used to make a lot Zannie.

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  5. I've only heard it called endive. I've made boat appetizers with it, but I am not overly fond of the bitterness.

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    1. I guess it does put some people off Denise. I always enjoy it.

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  6. I've never heard to called witlof before.

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    1. A lot of European countries call it witlof as do the Australians Diane.

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  7. I'm so pathetic--I'm not even sure what kind of wine is "dry!" I'd have to look that up.

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    1. There are dry wines and sweet wines of every kind Stephanie. However, never use a cooking wine because they are loaded with salt. A Pinot Grigio is a good dry white wine. Pinot Gris is another. However, if you are not a wine drinker and you want to try this, make sure you get a small bottle.

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  8. I knew it as endive; I kind of like Witlof better though! Might have to make those boats this summer.

    betty

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    1. Well white leaves describes it better doesn't it Betty? We enjoy the boats very much. You can add shrimp to the recipe as well.

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  9. I'd not heard of that before. I have heard of endive but I don't think I've had any.

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    1. Same plant JoJo. I have an idea you wouldn't like it. It is slightly bitter.

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  10. I bwish I could try Witlof here in India...

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    1. You can't find it as Belgian Endive or Witlof Janhavi? Maybe in the big cities or those areas where vegetarianism is mostly practiced.

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  11. Yes, I'd call it chicory first, then endive, then witloof - funny how these things get changed. I think it's great. Unfortunately my guinea pigs love it too, which means they get it before I do!
    Jemima Pett

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    1. So many names Jemima. Well, guinea pigs are edible too.

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  12. Have never heard of nor had. Looks good though.

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    1. It may be an acquired taste Yolanda.

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  13. I have never heard of this one let alone taste it. I'm going to look for it.

    Susan Says

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  14. I'm not much of a fan of bitter foods but that braise sounds very good - and you're right, Italian or flat leaved parsley is sometimes called continental parsley in Australia.

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    1. I love the slight bitterness Helen. Glad I guessed right about the parsley.

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  15. I've definitely heard of endive. Never eaten it though. Your posts are making me realise how boring my diet is, Jo.

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    1. Here's something new for you to try then Pinky. I must say, I can't do boring when it comes to food. Guess it's a lesson I learned from my parents. My mother was a much better cook than I am and my father was definitely a gourmet.

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  16. I have never even heard of this...what does it taste like?? Cabbage??

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    1. No Birgit, nothing like cabbage. More in the lettuce field. But really quite different. Zehrs, Food Basics and Sobeys all carry them.

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  17. I do like these, but it's been awhile. And I don't know that I've had them in my own kitchen. I could really enjoy using them as boats. Thanks for the idea.

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    1. I also enjoy them in salads as well as adding radicchio Ivy - I often add fruits to my salads too.

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    2. Do you like grapes, raisins or apples in your salad? I really do. Yum.

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    3. Yes Ivy, but never tried raisins. Good idea.

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  18. Haven't had this very often, because it is rather expensive in Hawaii compared to other vegetables. I suppose I could try to grow it myself, but there is some prep involved beyond growing it, one has to keep the leaves covered so they stay white. Maui Jungalow

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    1. It isn't cheap here either Courtney. That sounds a bit like growing white asparagus, you have to keep them covered.

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