belgian-endiveYesterday, I promised to share my recipe for a lemony Belgian endive salad that goes exceptionally well with the lentil casserole I published. It’s a wonderfully crisp winter salad that also pairs well with fish.
But before I get to the salad, here are a few Belgian endive facts I thought you would like to read.

  • According to legend, Belgian endive was accidentally discovered during the Belgian Revolution in 1830. Before being forced to leave his farm in Schaarbeek, Jan Lammers had planted chicory roots under a layer of soil in a dark cellar. He was quite surprised when upon his return, he discovered that the roots had sprouted and grown white leaves. Lammers tasted the leaves and really liked their flavor. A few decades later, the product had made its way to every table in Belgium.
  • Belgian endive was first introduced in Paris in 1872. There, people were so enthusiastic about it, that it was nicknamed ‘white gold’. Interestingly enough, the cultivation of the vegetable took off in France only after World War I. Farmers who fled Belgium took their chicory roots with them and began cultivating the plant there.
  • It wasn’t until the1970s that the production of Belgian endive took off in the Netherlands. Today, the Dutch serve it as a side dish, in salads or in casseroles with cheese and ham.
  • Outside of Europe, Belgian endive is regarded as a delicacy. In fact, it is ranked right up there with the likes of caviar, truffle and saffron!
  • The vegetable is rich in vitamins and minerals such as Folate, Vitamin A and Vitamin K.

Lemony Belgian Endive Salad
Serves 3-4

  • 450g Belgian endive, halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 60g capers
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • fleur de sel & freshly cracked pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and allow to rest for about half an hour before serving. Delicious with lentils or as a side dish to fish or roast ham.