Also goes by the names:
- Belgian Endive
- French Endive
It’s a typical winter/spring vegetable, and goes well with ham and (Gruyere) cheese
See recipe for Witlof Gratin
It’s actually a form of radicchio, and hence slightly bitter. It’s grown in dark conditions under sand, which keeps the skin white – except for a tuft of pale green/yellow at the tip of the leaves. (There is also a variety with purple tips).
Another popular use is loose-leaved in a salad.
Witlof is high in nutrition – especially vitamin B, dietary fibre and potassium – and extremely low in calories: just 14 calories per 100g, even less than in celery!
Witlof has a whole bunch of health benefits:
- it lowers acid levels in the body (it’s strongly alkaline), which helps digestion and reduces heartburn
- it helps reduce gallstones and kidney stones
- it helps eradicate intestinal worms,
- it lowers cholesterol, and improves the ratio of good HDL or bad LDL cholesterol
- it reduces inflammation
- Endive Frittata
- Endive, Prosciutto & Mozzarella on Bruschetta
- Endive with cos lettuce and oranges
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- ¾ chopped endive
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 6 eggs
- 2 tbs chopped fresh (dry) herbs (any combination of parsley, basil, or thyme)
- ¾ cup grated cheese - cheddar or Gruyere
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil or butter
- A little extra grated cheese to sprinkle on top
- Heat frypan over low heat with a little oil then add and sauté onion until soft for about 15 minutes.
- Add endive, stir until tender about 5-10 minutes then pop in garlic.
- Preheat grill for finishing Frittata
- In a large bowl lightly beat eggs and stir in herbs, salt and pepper. Pour this mixture into the frypan with the other ingredients. Then top with cheese. Do not stir.
- Remove from heat and place aluminium foil over handle of frypan then place pan under low grill until Frittata is brown on top. Remove and slice into wedges. Serve warm.
Endive, Prosciutto & Mozzarella on Bruschetta
- 12 thick diagonal slices baguette bread
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾ head of curly endive separated into 5cm strips
- 130gms mozzarella cheese cut into 12 thin slices
- 12 paper-thin slices prosciutto
- 1⅓ tbsp red wine vinaigrette
- To make Red Wine Vinaigrette:
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- ⅙ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup & ⅓ tps honey
- 1 tps salt
- ½ tps freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 175°C. Note: fan-forced ovens set 10-20° lower.
- In two large baking dishes arrange the bread slices and brush 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil over the bread slices.
- Into the oven and bake bread until golden and crisp - about 12-15 minutes. Set aside.
- Wrap 1 curly endive and 1 slice of cheese with 1 slice of prosciutto, allowing the tops to extend 2 ½ cm over 1 long side of the prosciutto. Arrange finished bread on a platter.
- Top each bread with a prosciutto roll. Drizzle the vinaigrette and serve.
- Red Wine Vinaigrette:
- In a blender mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. Gradually blend in the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Endive with cos lettuce and oranges
- 2 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ tbsp finely sliced red onions
- ¾ tbsp honey
- 2 ½ tbsp olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 heads endive, trimmed, cut crosswise into thin slices
- ½ head cos lettuce, center leaves only, torn into pieces
- 2 blood oranges or regular oranges, segmented
- • Optional: ½ cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- Whisk the balsamic vinegar, red onions, and honey in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Toss the endive and cos in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mound the salad onto plates. Surround with the orange segments. Sprinkle with hazelnuts. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette around the salads and serve immediately.