Saturday 14 February 2009

Recipe: Endive with Orange

When serving a deliciously uncomplicated joint of meat, or a baked fish, or a spit-roast bird - where the freshness and sheer quality of the creature shines through, and the less you muck around with it, the better it is - there's an opportunity to offset this with a vegetable dish where there's clearly rather more going on. This is one of those dishes. I've experimented with an easier version, where I merely shredded and sauteed the endive, and added the orange flavouring at the end, and although it worked perfectly adequately, it was nowhere near as good as the version given here The concentration of flavours in the sauce and the slightly 'caramelised' texture of the endive lifts it to a higher level, but without it too obviously crying out for attention. If serving for a dinner party, prepare the endive in advance to the point where it's about to go into the oven, and then set it aside and put it into the oven as you sit to the first course.

For four.

Ingredients: 4 Belgian Endive; 2 oz Butter; 1 clove of Garlic, minced; juice and rind of half an Orange; 1 tsp Brown Sugar; 4 tbs White Wine Vinegar; 5 fl oz Water; Salt, to taste.


1. Heat the oven to 190 degrees C.

2. Melt the Butter in a sauté pan (one that can subsequently fit entirely in the oven) and once melted, lightly colour the Garlic in the Butter.

3. Cut the Endives in half, lengthwise, and discard any obviously hard bits of central core. Place the Endives face down in the sauté pan and cook a couple for of minutes on each side, until slightly browned at the edges. Add all the remaining ingredients, and bring them to a boil, stirring all the time. Remove from heat.

4. Cover the pan with foil, and then place in the pre-heated oven for twenty minutes. Once the Endives are tender and cooked through, remove the pan from the oven and take the Endives out of the sauce. Place them on the serving plates.

5. Boil the sauce down for a minute or so, until it has noticeably reduced and thickened; spoon the sauce over the plated Endives, and serve

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