Braised Chicory (Endives Braisées)
Preparation time: 40 min.
Chicory (Belgian Endives) is a traditional winter vegetable popular in France. This easy recipe is great on its own or as a side dish to meats.
- about 4 medium size Belgian endives split lengthwise in half
- 125 gr (1/2 cup) smoked bacon cut into matchsticks
- 1 tbsp. butter
- Juice of a lemon
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) white wine
- 6 tbsp Crème Fraîche or heavy cream
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Melt butter in the pan and add bacon pieces. Fry them until crunchy over medium fire taking care not to burn the bacon, stirring now and then. When nicely browned take them out of the pan and put them over a paper towel to pick up residual fat. Discard most of the fat accumulated in the pan. Leave just about 2 tbsp. of it.
Add the endives cut side down first in a single layer. Sprinkle them with pepper. Don't add any salt at this stage as the bacon is already salted. Sprinkle bacon sticks around the endives and add the 125 ml (1/2 cup) of wine. Bring everything to a quick boil. Reduce the heat to low and sauté them gently for 30 minutes turning them gently now and then until they are nicely golden but do not fall apart. Pierce them in the center with a small knife to test their doneness. Add lemon juice and cream swirling the pan around to mix the juices. Taste for salt. Warm it again without letting it boil. Serve on its own or as a side dish.