I'm not sure if I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year, but I have been trying out some new side dishes the past couple of weeks just in case. Thanksgiving side dishes are usually starchy and carb-y, so I want to add some fall vegetables into the mix. There are so many fall vegetables available at the market right now, so it should be easy to add some cabbage, brussels sprouts, beets, parsnips, radicchio, and Belgian endives to your Thanksgiving table next to the sweet potato casserole this year.
The Belgian endive is a leafy vegetable in the chicory family which is a good source of fiber, folate and vitamins A and K. The plant is grown underground or indoors so that the head doesn't open up like a lettuce. They look like compact, light green-towards-white bulbs. You peel the outside leaves, trim the stem end and eat the inside leaves raw or cooked.
You probably know the Belgian endive as a bitter salad green. However, roasting them with vingear cuts down the bitterness and results in a very tasty side dish or warm salad for lunch. You can omit the butter here, but I really liked how it adds a creaminess to the dish and goes well with the delicate leeks.
I roasted the vegetables at a lower temperature to keep the leeks and endive leaves from burning. If you need to serve more people, you can double the recipe and serve as a side dish.