Witloof

Witloof is also known as chicory, endive or Belgium endive.

Witloof is a Dutch name that translates as white leaf. The name of this vegetable can be confusing. In New Zealand it is called either witloof or chicory. However, the British call it chicory and the French call it endive or Belgium endive. There is also a type of lettuce that the French call chicory and is known as endive in Britain and New Zealand. Witloof has a slightly bitter and nutty flavour. The roots in some strains can be used as a coffee substitute.

Radicchio is a red-leafed variety of witloof. It adds an interesting colour and taste to winter salads.

What to look for

Look for crisp, firm, compact heads that are creamy white with pale yellow tips.

Availability

Available: May to October.

Store

Refrigerate in paper bags. Use as soon as possible.

How to prepare

Remove loose, damaged or discoloured leaves, trim the stalk before using and cut out the bitter core from the root end.

Ways to eat

Eat raw as a salad vegetable, on its own or mixed with other salad greens. Cheese goes well with witloof. Braise whole or sliced, and serve with a sauce. Stuff and bake, add sliced to stir fries, add to flans, curries or pies.

Cooking methods

Bake, braise, microwave, steam, stir fry.

Nutrition

Witloof is a source of folate, dietary fibre and vitamin E.

Nutrition table

WITLOOF/CHICORY Raw      
Nutrition Information        
Serving size: 1 cup chopped = 50g      
  Average Quantity % Daily Intake per serve Average Quantity  
per serving per 100g  
Energy (kJ) 28 0 57 Energy - low
Protein (g) 0.4 1 0.8  
Fat, total (g) 0.1 0 0.1  
 - saturated (g) 0.01 0 0.03  
Available carbohydrate (g) 0.2 0 0.5  
Dietary Fibre (g) 2 7 4 Source
Sodium (mg) 4 0 7  
Folate (µg) 26 13% RDI* 52 A source of folate
Vitamin E (mg) 1.15 11% RDI* 2.3 A source of vitamin E
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ 
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs 
 *Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)  
Source: New Zealand Food Composition Database online accessed May 2024

 

Retailing

Keep displays small and maintain perfect storage conditions. Buy in small quantities and ensure stock is moved fast. Avoid exposure to bright light as when exposed to light, the flavour changes to an unacceptable level of bitterness. Customers may not know how to use witloof, so use the QR code on labels.

Store at 0°C with a relative humidity of 90-100%. Keep covered away from cooling fans and ethylene producing products.

Purchase witloof with the New Zealand GAP logo.