We had a wonderful holiday with our dear Dutch friends; we have been lucky to visit them every year for the last however long, plus seeing them over here in the inbetweenwhiles! Quite a few traditions have arisen about our stay with them, a barbecue, some trips out, lovely walks taking lots of photos, pancakes on the last day we spend with them, and going out for a wonderful meal.
We went to a nearby village and really, I know I say this every year, but this time it really was the best ever! I had fish, as you can see in my photo, served in a lovely cream sauce with asparagus and on a bed of scrambled egg, which was unusual – but so delicious and went with the fish (sea bass) perfectly. As you can see we had a wonderful selection of vegetables, three different sorts of potatoes, cauliflower, things, and other things, but then my favourite dish, witloof wrapped in ham and served with a creamy, cheesy sauce.
Witloof is more commonly called chicory these days, or Belgian endive; it used to be considered bitter, but as with so many vegetables, it is now bred to be sweeter. I love it, in salads in particular, and I have never cooked it, and as far as I know until we were with our Dutch friends, I had never eaten it cooked. In fact, I thought I was eating mild leeks… the recipe would work very well with baby leeks too!
The recipe is so simple, I’ll just tell you how to do it; boil the witloof/chicory/Belgian endive for about 7-10 minutes in salted water, drain. Wrap each head in ham and lay in a buttered dish. While the water is boiling make a cheese sauce, however you like your cheese sauce and pour it over the ham-wrapped vegetables;sprinkle over a little grated cheese. Put it in a hot oven for about ten minutes – you could actually just eat this for lunch with crusty bread!