Yield: 4 servings
Time: 25 minutes
There is something about the chilly weather that clamors for a piping hot meal loaded with goodness to warm your soul. Here is one that fits the bill. Endives au Gratin, a classic from Belgium and Northern France. The sweet and slightly salty taste of the Gruyere cheese is a perfect match to the slight bitterness of the endives. Europeans are particularly fond of endives and prefer them braised or baked.
In the US endives are called Belgian Endives and are used mostly raw for dips and in salads. In the UK they are known as Chicory and in Australia/New Zealand as Witloof. In the US “Chicory” is the name for the curly endive used as a salad.
- 8 medium to large Belgian endives
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 6 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp thyme
- 3/4 cup (170 g) grated Gruyere cheese
Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
Cut endives lengthwise in the middle. Place them in a dish and drizzle with lemon juice to avoid oxidation.
Heat butter, olive oil, and sugar over medium-low heat in a saucepan large enough to accommodate endives cut side down side by side. Braise them over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until they are beginning to get soft in the core. Turn once to coat the other side with butter and cook them for 5 minutes longer. Salt and pepper lightly.
Place endives cut side up snugly together in a buttered ovenproof dish and sprinkle with thyme and Gruyere cheese. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until top is bubbly.
Serve with a crusty country bread and a glass of wine.