This Belgian endive salad with egg is a crisp and vibrant side dish that boasts a soft, unique taste profile. The gentle bitterness of the endives is combined with the rich and creamy taste of eggs coated with a sweet and tangy honey mustard dressing. A fresh and crunchy side dish that comes together in under 10 minutes and which pairs perfectly with a whole range of main dishes.
What is endive?
Belgian endives, also known as ‘chicons’ in French and ‘witlof’ or ‘witloof’ in Dutch are small, cone shaped vegetables with long cream white leaves ending in a yellowish green crown. While available throughout the year, their prime quality shines during the northern winter months from December to April. During these winter months they definitely become a dietary staple for many Belgians and Dutch.
With low sodium but high nutritional value and rich mineral content, this versatile vegetable easily finds its way into various culinary experiences. Witlof can be enjoyed raw in salads, braised, grilled, used as edible cups for appetizers and even crafted into a delicious soup.
Which ingredients to use
This endive recipe comes together with just a handful of ingredients.
- Belgian endives: Use heavy and firm endive heads with a lovely cream white colour, preferably without any brown spots. If the outer leaves have some brown spots you can just remove them.
- Eggs: A few hard-boiled eggs adds a rich, creamy taste and texture to this salad.
- Seasoning: This salad only needs salt and pepper for seasoning.
- Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley will give some extra freshness and colour to this dish. Add the parsley just before serving. Finely chopped chives are a great substitute for parsley.
- Dressing: This endive salad needs a creamy dressing. This honey mustard dressing is a great choice.
Which dressing to use
A salad with Belgian endives calls for a creamy dressing to balance out the tender bitterness. A vinaigrette with oil and vinegar would just not work as it will to clash with the flavours of the endives.
So to balance out the slight bitter taste of the endive leaves, a sweet and tangy dressing is all you need. This honey mustard dressing will harmonise all the flavours to create a well balanced side dish meal. To enhance the nutty notes of the Belgian endive, a teaspoon of tahini (sesame seed paste) can be added to the honey mustard dressing.
An easy but delicious alternative is to use mayonnaise combined with Dijon mustard. Mix 3 measures of mayonnaise with 1 measure of Dijon mustard for a mild yet tangy creamy dressing. Belgian endive salad mixed with mayonnaise works really well as a winter side dish.
To make the honey mustard dressing, combine white wine vinegar with olive oil, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. Give it a good whisk to create a creamy consistency then drizzle over the salad.
How to make endive salad
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Clean the endives: Remove the outer leaves then give the endive heads a very quick rinse under the tap, or use a clean, damp cloth to wipe them off. Make sure to pat dry before using.
- Cut the endives: Trim off the brown root end of each head and cut lengthwise in half. Remove the inner hard core of each head as this is the part that gives the most bitter taste. Finely chop the endives or cut in julienne strips as per personal preference.
- Make the salad: Peel the hard-boiled eggs and chop in small pieces. Combine the chopped endives and eggs in a mixing bowl. Pour the honey mustard dressing (or other dressing of choice) over it and gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve: Either serve immediately with fresh parsley or chives, or place covered in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the dressing to further soak into the salad for an even more in depth taste. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.
While the combination of Belgian endives and hard-boiled eggs works really well, here are some ingredient substitutions that also work well with endives:
- Roasted walnuts
- Fresh orange or mandarine slices
- Feta cheese
- Goat cheese
- Sliced or chopped apple
This Belgian endive salad recipe is best served as a side dish with a main meal rather than as a salad on its own. It is fast and easy to prepare with just a few ingredients so you always have a side dish available in no time if you have endives at home.
Serve as a side dish with this wild boar stew, or any game meat stew for that matter. But, this endive salad will also work well with grilled trout, chicken, salmon, beef or pork. Consider serving these Belgian endives as a side dish for the holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year or any other celebration).
How to store
Whole Belgian endives keep remarkably well when stored in the fridge. Place in the vegetable drawer either in a paper bag, wrapped in a dish towel or even without any covering and they’ll keep for 1 to 2 weeks. If you’ve bought them in plastic wrapping remove them from the plastic before storing or they’ll go brown very fast.
If you have leftover endive salad, cover and store in the fridge for up to 1 full day. It will taste even better the next day as the dressing will have been absorbed by the endive leaves. However, after 24 hours the leaves will start to get soggy.
More Belgian endive recipes to try
- Creamy smoked trout pasta with endives
- Belgian endive salad with apple, ham and feta cheese
- Braised endives with bacon and creamy cheese sauce
Belgian endive salad with egg
- 3 Belgian endive heads
- 2 hard-boiled eggs chopped
- parsley finely chopped
- pepper and salt to taste
Honey Mustard Dressing
- 3 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ tablespoon honey
- pepper and salt to taste
For the dressing
- In a small bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and whisk well to create a thick and creamy consistency.
For the endive salad
- Peel off and remove the outer leaves of the endive heads by hand. Wash quickly under cold running water and gently pat dry the heads. Trim off the root ends and cut length-wise in half. Cut away the hard inner core at the bottom of the endive heads. Finely chop the endives or cut into julienne strips.
- Peel and roughly chop the hard-boiled eggs.
- Combine the chopped endives and eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Add the dressing and gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve cold with fresh parsley for garnish.
- Prepare in advance: Prepare the endive salad with the dressing and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the dressing to further mix with the endives. It will taste even better.
- Store: Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 day. After that the endive leaves will start to become very soggy.
- Dressing: An alternative for honey mustard dressing is just plain mayonnaise or mayonnaise mixed with mustard.