Belgian endives, also called chicory are one of my all time favourite vegetables. They are typical autumn vegetables and so I do post them normally in this period. In fact I like them so much, that most of the time I just don’t take the time to make postings, and I have a few favourite recipes that I make all the time. But yesterday I made these filled Belgian endives in prosciutto, which is a new variant and thus a new posting.
So here is my new wit loof from Belgium.
filled Belgian endives in prosciutto
- a small piece of string
- 2 Belgian endives
- 200 gram minced meat
- 4 pieces prosciutto
- 1 spring onion
- Preheat the oven at 200°C
- Cut the spring onion into small pieces.
- Mix the minced meat with the spring onion, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Halve the Belgian endives.
- Fill the halved Belgian endives with the minced meat. Press the halves together and wrap them with 2 pieces of prosciutto. To make sure that everything stays together you might wrap it with a piece of string.
- Place the filled Belgian endives in a greased baking tray. Fill that with a bit of water and place some butter on top of the prosciutto.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Open a few times to pour the sauce over the filled Belgian endives to keep them moist.
- Meanwhile chop the parsley finely, and mix it with the sauce just before finishing. Pour some of the sauce with the parsley over the Belgian endives.
- For the best result, place the chicory on their sides. Otherwise they will fall over.
- When the Belgian endives are baking in the oven you have lots of time to make delicious mashed potatoes (with nutmeg).
- Don’t cut off the hard and bitter bottom of the chicory. It keeps the leaves together which otherwise will fall apart.
- If the baking is going too fast, cover the Belgian endives and the prosciutto with some silver paper.
Belgian endives (chicory) are also called the Belgian white gold. together with Brussels sprouts they are stronghold vegetables for the Belgian kitchen. And they are healthy, unlike many other Belgian specialities: beer, fries, chocolate, … Every Belgian cook has his own favourite and special recipes with chicory. A very good professional overview you may find on “Dagelijkse kost“, the website of Jeroen Meus, a famous Belgian television cook (in Dutch).
Of course you can also find my own favourite recipes with Belgian endives on surprising.recipes:
- oven dish with chicory and leek
- salad of chicory and roasted figs
- chicory salad with autumn fruits
- chicory leaves with apple, egg and smoked halibut
- Belgian endives with meatballs
- scallops with blood sausage
Why are they Belgian? Why are they white? These are important questions that need to be answered. Like many great inventions this is also a fluke. Somewhere in the 1830s, a Belgian farmer let chicory roots dry in his basement for later usage in (surrogate) coffee. A few months later white leaves with a slight bitter taste had grown. It took ages to develop the method to make chicory roots grow a second time in a dark basement to become Belgian endives. You can find more facts&figures on Belgian endives on specialtyproduce.