Prep 7 mins
Cook 50 mins
There's no pretention here: it's simply a quick way to prepare endives/witlof/chicory so it can be be presented as a side dish. It could be a starter, but mine simply was not smart enough to dish up as a starter. The endives won't be limp in this recipe, but still a little crunchy, depending on their size. They do shrink somewhat while baking. If you want them more tender, bake for longer, but cover loosely with foil. Ideal with a simple chicken dish, and its earthy saltiness is complemented by another side dish which is slightly sweet, like butternut or sweet potatoes.
- 3 heads Belgian endive
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper
- 6 -12 slices bacon (depending on size)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (45 ml)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 1⁄2 ounces blue cheese (your choice)
- Set oven at 325 deg F/ 160 deg Celsius.
- Thinly slice off the discoloured end of the endives.
- Cut each endive in two, lengthwise. If any leaves fall away, gather them and use them when wrapping in the bacon strips.
- Season each endive half well with ground nutmeg and white pepper. It is fine just to season the cut halves, because they fall apart easily when handled.
- Wrap each halved endive in one or two slices of bacon with a fatty rind -- you need that. Depending on the width of your bacon you might need only 1 slice. I used "back bacon", which has a lean part with a fatty edge.
- Put the bacon-wrapped endive halves in an oven dish, and spoon in the balsamic vinegar.
- Drizzle each wrapped half with drops of olive oil, and put a piece of foil loosely over the dish.
- Put in the pre-heated oven. After 15 mins remove the foil and bake another 30 minutes.
- While they're baking roughly crumble the blue cheese in chunks.
- Take the dish from the oven, divide the crumbled blue cheese among the 6 endive halves, and bake another 5 minutes or until the cheese starts collapsing and melting.
- Serve as a side dish with a simple chicken dish, a carb like basmati rice, and some sweetish veggie like butternut or sweet potatoes. The sweetish side dish complements the salty endives.
- The endives will still be slightly crunchy.