The second of my current favourite starters uses the slightly maligned Belgian endive. Perhaps you call it chicory or witlof. It’s a beautiful pearly vegetable with bitter but satiny white leaves and I adore it. Tried to grow it last year and failed miserably. Will try again though. It’d be wonderful to pick fresh from my garden.
Anyway, though I adore endive all raw and crunchy in salads with cheese and nuts, my absolute favourite way to eat it is braised in a little butter and stock then topped with bubbling parmesan. Gorgeous as a side dish to grilled chicken and perfect with crusty bread as a sticky starter served
Braised Belgian Endive
One endive per person, halved length-ways
100-150ml stock (Chicken or veg)
- Preheat oven to 190oC.
- Melt a little butter in an oven-proof dish, just large enough to take your endives.
- Roll the endives in the butter until coated and discard extra fat.
- Lay endives in the dish rounded side up, season and pour in stock until halfway up the vegetables.
- Cover tightly with foil and roast for 20 minutes.
- Remove foil and turn endives so the flat side is up. Roast for another 10 minutes without the foil.
- Increase oven temp. to 210oC. Sprinkle endives with parmesan cheese and roast for 10 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbling.
- Serve drizzled with the juices woth crusty bread on the side.