All of a sudden I have fallen in love with one of the most hated vegetables in the country- Belgian endive! Long gone are the days when I ignored the vegetable. I can no longer leave the market without at least a kilo of these luscious heads of ‘white gold’ and I only have one person to thank- Yolanda van der Jagt!
Yolanda’s book, Lekker Hollands, has become one of my favorite cookbooks as far as the Dutch kitchen is concerned. When I first opened the book, I was quite surprised to see that the foreword was written by Jamie Oliver. Now that alone was already a good sign! Yolanda and Jamie worked together at the River Café in
- celeriac: had some for lunch today, julienned, with apple and raisins, also love it in my mashed potatoes.
- parsnips: I never thought of making a traditional Dutch hutspot with anything but boiled carrots and potatoes until Yolanda came along and showed me how to make a roasted hutspot- with parsnips ( the original veggie used in the dish) carrots and white bean mash.
- kale: deliciously different as a crostini topping!
- leeks: wrapped in bacon, covered in tomato sauce, sprinkled with thyme and baked in the oven.
- red peppers: caramelized and served with... vanilla ice cream, for dessert!
- and of course, Belgian endive. Oh how delicious it is grilled and served with a vinaigrette of shallots, bacon and balsamic vinegar!
Last weekend I decided to turn to Yolanda once again for a little inspiration and served endive in a savory tart. First I sautéed the endive in a little butter and also did the same with some red onions. Then it was just a matter of sticking a few sheets of puff pastry together (shop- bought), throwing the veggies on top and scattering bits of chèvre and bacon here and there. Couldn’t have been any easier! I served the tart with a salad of lamb’s lettuce and a bottle of Pouilly Fumé. It was SO, SO good!
PS: Yolanda's book is only available in Dutch. Yolanda, the world needs a translation! ;)
Here's Yolandas recipe (adapted by me):
Endive Tart with Goat Cheese
-6 squares of puff pastry (about 45g per square), or a piece of about 30 x 20cm
-2 tbsps butter
-5 red onions, halved and thinly sliced
-500g Belgian endive, 1 cm cut off of the ends, halved and then sliced thinly
-1 tbsp dried thyme
-100g chvre (soft goat cheese)
-4 strips of bacon
-1 beaten egg
-freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 210C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Put the puff pastry on the tray and leave it to defrost at room temperature.
- Melt 1 tbsp of the butter, add the onions and let them cook gently for about 20 minutes.
- Melt the other tbsp of butter in another pan and cook the endive gently for about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Press the edges of the puff pastry together to form a rectangular sheet. Layer the veggies over the pastry leaving an edge of about 2cm.
- Scatter the thyme, cheese and bacon over the tart, brush the edges with the egg and bake it for 20- 25 minutes until golden brown.