Seven days into our new adventure in France, our home was still being renovated, and Normandy turned cold. As promised by the previous days’ forecast, rain poured from a gray sky and all I could think of was turning on the oven to bake.
Of course, my pantry is still “under development” and the luxury stock of gluten-free flours and baking items to which I’ve grown so accustomed (and maybe even took for granted just a wee bit?) don’t exist here. At least not yet.
But it takes more than a few missing pantry items to stop a cold, food-loving gal like me. I fired up the oven, scoured the fridge, and there they were, huge fresh endive I purchased two days before at our local market.
I trimmed and washed them, split them, and seasoned them lightly for braising.
They were so delectably tender, they nearly melted in our mouths. Don’t spare the butter nor the salt in this recipe. Both are worth it.
Braised Belgian Endive
- 3 large or 6 small Belgian endive
- 1/2 Tablespoon oil, I like avocado oil, use what you like
- Juice from 1/2 small lemon
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 Tablespoons good quality butter (or more if you like, up to 5 T.)
- Sea salt, in good quantity
- Black pepper, if desired
- Chives, for garnish
- Prepare the endive by trimming the root ends, then gently washing the whole endive under cool running water, rubbing exterior to remove any dirt or debris. Pat dry.
- Slice endive in half lengthwise.
- Preheat oven to 325F and pour oil into a baking dish just large enough to contain endive in a single layer.
- Place endive, cut side up in dish, pour lemon juice and water over the top, give a hearty sprinkling of sea salt, pepper if you like and dot with the butter.
- Bake, covered (a lid or foil will work) for 45 minutes, then check to test for tenderness and moisture.
- If the pan is dry, add more liquid (a couple tablespoons full) and add more butter on top, if desired.
- Return endive to oven for another 20-30 minutes (uncovered), until they are tender and lightly browned around top edges.
- Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve immediately in small bowls, drizzling some of the pan liquid over the top if you like.
- Serve with roasted meats, poultry or fish, or as a starter dish with 2 per serving.