Belgian Endive/Witlof/Chicory Salad with Mandarins and Walnuts

There are few vegetables that have different names in the UK, the US, and Australia, but witlof is one of them. Witlof is what it’s called in Australia and the Netherlands, but it is called Belgian Endive in the US and Chicory in the UK. In this post I’m going to stick to witlof, as this is a Dutch salad.

A witlof salad with mandarins and walnuts is a very homey Dutch dish, that is often made with canned mandarins and store-bought dressing. As such it is okay but nothing special. With a few touches I’ve transformed it into something a lot better: using fresh mandarins rather than from a can, toasting the walnuts, and making my own dressing with fresh mandarin juice and zest, honey and walnut oil. Continue reading “Belgian Endive/Witlof/Chicory Salad with Mandarins and Walnuts”

Langoustine Tartare with Mandarin and Bottarga

One of the best dinners we’ve had so far this year was at La Madia in Sicily. One of the dishes there was Battutino di gambero rosso, maionese di bottarga di tonno e olio al mandarino.

DSC05651
The dish at La Madia

This is what I wrote in my review: “Carpaccio of prawns, flattened into a perfect disc, served with a bottarga mayonnaise and mandarin olive oil. It was suggested to spread out the ‘mayo’, which we did, and it was a great combination with the prawns and didn’t overpower them. Great balance of flavors, although I may have liked a slightly ‘fresher’  taste.”

The type of prawns used in this dish is not available fresh in the Netherlands, but I love raw langoustines (scampi) that are locally caught. When I saw fresh langoustines at the market, I decided to create a dish that was inspired by the combination of flavors at La Madia. The result was an appetizer of langoustine tartare with mandarin zest infused olive oil, mandarin juice, bottarga, and mandarin. It was very nice as a small appetizer (amuse bouche). The flavors worked very well together, and I liked that it was ‘fresher’ than the dish at La Madia. The dried bottarga was not as smooth as the bottarga mayo at La Madia, but it was nice all the same. Continue reading “Langoustine Tartare with Mandarin and Bottarga”