Chicory (Witlof) and Grilled Mortadella

Witlof, chicory, Belgian endive, whatever you wanna call it; I’ve always had a thing for this slightly bitter fall produce vegetable. When my friends abroad ask me about typical Dutch cuisine, this vegetable always comes up. Whether it’s prepared as an oven dish, mashed with potatoes or simply steamed in a pot, the Dutch love using this vegetable…and so do I! Back when I was a kid my mother would tryout Dutch cooking, a brave effort of many multicultural people that want to fit into a country with different (eating) habits. Of course when cooking with turmeric and saffron is what you’re used to, steaming some vegetable seems slightly boring (or even unacceptable!). As one can imagine, she quickly gave up and went straight back to her Persian dishes. That’s when Dishtales stepped in! 🙂
Chicory (Witlof) and Grilled Mortadella Blog Photos (14 of 14)
Right after taking the last picture of this dish I suddenly realized that I literally spent some pocket change to buy the ingredients! Fair enough, presentation can make a dish look  spectacular, but still, wouldn’t you eat this for lunch or dinner? Oh an FYI, it takes about 10 minutes to prepare AND it serves two! I know by now you’re jumping up and down, counting those pennies and rushing to the grocery store, but hold on my foodies and let me break this dish down for you. Grilled Mortadella is something I actually discovered at this Amsterdam based Sicilian restaurant a few years ago. The ham slices were so incredibly delicious that I hardly believed that they simply heated up a grilpan and threw the slices on for 20/30 seconds. The soft, creamy taste of Mortadella ham comes out (even more!) and together with caramelized chicory, carrots, some fresh spinach and chives…just grab a glass of wine and enjoy this colorful, fall produce dish!


Chicory (Witlof) and Grilled Mortadella


  • 4 chicories
  • two hands of fresh spinach
  • 6 slices of Mortadella ham
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 medium sized carrot
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 8 tbsp water
  • salt & pepper
  • butter and olive oil
  • a bunch of chives (for garnish)


  1. Wash all vegetables and slice as displayed on pictures (chicories in half, carrots in flat, thin slices, tomatoes in slices and chop the bunch of chives)
  2. Heat up a grilpan, add the Mortadella ham slices, grill them (until brown colored) on both sides and set aside to cool.*
  3. Heat up a large pan (medium heat) and grill the chicories on both sides for 3-5 minutes. After 3-5 minutes add sugar and let it caramelize for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add water to the pan, mix well, put the lid on and let the chicories simmer for about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the slices of carrot (make sure they're only bathing in the liquid mixture), put the lid on and simmer for another 1-2 minutes
  6. Prep your plates, grab a fresh loaf of bread and enjoy!

Oh and FYI:

TIP: as the grilled Mortadella ham slices become quite sticky I do NOT recommend to remove excess fat with paper towels. Just eat it as it, it's delicious! 🙂

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