Tag: chicory

Sautéed Belgian Endive wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma

Sautéed Belgian Endive wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma

The lack of time can be as fruitful as frugality. My mind tends to work quicker – and come up with surprisingly good ideas – when I don’t have time and ingredients in abundance. It makes me creative. My boyfriend often asks me what we should cook for dinner in the early afternoon. In the past, I would have just gone to the grocery store if I hadn’t made up my mind yet, I would have looked at the fresh produce and gone back to my kitchen to start cooking. But that’s not possible at the moment, I’m lucky if I manage to do my beloved grocery shopping once or twice a week. Time is a gift that I never treasured as highly as I do right now.

But I don’t want to complain, it’s a different kind of cooking, but nonetheless inspiring and still very satisfying. Like these little golden bites of Belgian endive (chicory), sautéed for just a couple minutes until golden and then wrapped in a thin layer of prosciutto di Parma. It was delicious! In my pre-cookbook life I would have made a side out of it and not given it my full attention, or at least bought a fresh loaf of ciabatta to dip into the juices in the pan. But no, a few slices of my leftover spelt bread where just as good and the simplicity of this meal caressed my taste buds.

Sautéed Belgian Endive wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma

 

Sautéed Belgian Endive wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma

Sautéed Belgian Endive wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma

Serves 2

olive oil
medium Belgian endive, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise, 2
fine sea salt
prosciutto di Parma 4 thin slices
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar

In a small, heavy pan, heat a splash of olive oil over high heat and sauté the endives for 1-1 1/2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and still al dente. Season lightly with salt and take the pan off the heat.

On a large plate, spread the prosciutto di Parma and wrap each half of Belgian endive tightly in one slice of prosciutto. Put the pan back on the heat and cook the wrapped endives for 1 minute on each side or until the prosciutto is golden but still soft. Divide between plates and sprinkle with crushed pepper.

Sautéed Belgian Endive wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma

 

Sautéed Belgian Endive wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma

 

balbianendiveparma7

Grilled Endive, Ham, Raclette and Pear Sandwich

Grilled Endive, Ham, Raclette and Pear Sandwich

The thought behind this sandwich is simple: 1. I love the bittersweet combination of endive and pear, 2. the rustic duo of ham and endive gives me a cosy feeling which I desperately crave in February and 3. melted hearty raclette fits to (almost) everything. Just the idea of combining these four ingredients in a grilled sandwich sounded so promising that I could barely wait to take the first bite of my new creation. Usually, I’m quite disciplined while I take pictures for my posts but this time I truly suffered behind the camera. It didn’t really help that the smell of this little beauty was even more tempting than its mouthwatering good looks, it was quite a cruel teaser!

The result was so pleasing that I quickly prepared a second batch as the first one went down so well. You can use any hard cheese for this sandwich as long as it melts well and tastes strong enough to stand up next to the other ingredients. I can imagine a ripe blue cheese or camembert would be just as good. I’m a big fan of raclette, its powerful aroma is just made to merge with vegetables, meat or pasta. This Swiss cheese is far from being shy without being obtrusive, and it forms these little smoky bubbles under the grill which smell and taste fantastic. The preparation is quick and easy, I sautéed the endives on both sides before I stacked them on a rustic bun between ham, pear wedges and a generous slice of cheese. Just a few minutes under the grill and the raclette took over my kitchen!

Grilled Endive, Ham, Raclette and Pear Sandwich

 

Grilled Endive, Ham, Raclette and Pear Sandwich

Grilled Endive, Ham, Raclette and Pear Sandwich

For 2 sandwiches you need

sourdough bread 4 slices
small endives, cut in half (lengthwise), 2
ham 4 slices
pear, cut into thin wedges, 1/2
raclette cheese, sliced, 80g / 3 ounces
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar, for the topping
salt
olive oil

Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan and sauté the endives on medium heat for 1-2 minutes on each side, season with salt and pepper.

Lay 2 slices of ham on a slice of sourdough bread, spread the pear on top and finish with the sautéed endive. Spread some cheese over the vegetable and continue with the second sandwich. Put both sandwiches under the grill for a few minutes or until the cheese starts bubbling. Sprinkle with pepper and enjoy!

Grilled Endive, Ham, Raclette and Pear Sandwich

 

Grilled Endive, Ham, Raclette and Pear Sandwich

 

Grilled Endive, Ham, Raclette and Pear Sandwich

 

Grilled Endive, Ham, Raclette and Pear Sandwich

 

Grilled Endive, Ham, Raclette and Pear Sandwich

Potato and Endive Gratin with Chèvre and Thyme

Potato and Endive Gratin with Chèvre

A gratin has the same effect on me as pizza or lasagna, I just want to cuddle up on the sofa and get cosy. This dish spreads such a beautiful aroma of baked cheese and herbs through my flat, it instantly relaxes me. Sometimes I just sit in front of the glass oven door, enjoying the scene of bubbling cream and cheese that turns from an unspectacular pale white to a landscape of golden brown peaks. They look like tiny volcanos with dark tips ready to burst. It’s just a gratin but when you look at it long enough it carries you away!

I don’t remember how many different potato gratin recipes I have tried out in my kitchen, there were so many. I shared the ones with dried porcini, black pudding, apples or parsnips and today there will be a new addition to the selection: Potato and endive gratin with chèvre and thyme! The combination is great, quite strong with sweet, bitter, milky and woody flavours. I wanted a quick dish, so I boiled the potatoes and sautéed the endives before I baked them with cream and milk in the oven. You could easily come up with some variations and use raclette or blue cheese instead of the chèvre, or add some slices of pears or apples, mix in some chopped rosemary or whatever comes to mind to suit your cosy dinner.

Potato and Endive Gratin with Chèvre

 

Potato and Endive Gratin with Chèvre

 Potato and Endive Gratin with Chèvre and Thyme

For 3 – 4 people you need

potatoes, boiled, peeled and sliced, 700g / 1.5 pounds
endives, cut in half, 4
heavy cream 100ml / 3.5 ounces
milk 60ml / 2 ounces
freshly grated nutmeg
salt 1 teaspoon
pepper
chèvre 125g / 4.5 ounces
thyme, the leaves of a small bunch
olive oil
butter 2 teaspoons

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F and butter a round 28cm / 11″ gratin form or baking dish.

In a pan, heat a splash of olive oil and butter and sauté the endives for 2 minutes on each side on medium-high. Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk the cream and milk and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Arrange the potatoes and endives in the buttered dish and pour the cream and milk mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle with chèvre and thyme and bake for 18 minutes. Turn the oven down to 160°C / 320°F and bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown. Let the gratin cool for a few minutes before serving and season with pepper to taste.

Potato and Endive Gratin with Chèvre

 

Potato and Endive Gratin with Chèvre

 

Potato and Endive Gratin with Chèvre

 

Potato and Endive Gratin with Chèvre

Bitter Endive and Radicchio Salad with sweet Persimmons

Endive, Radicchio and Persimmons Salad

Since I bought my first persimmons at a farmer’s market in Paris many, many years ago I have been hooked on this fruit. Back in those days I wasn’t familiar with how to eat this orange ball of sticky juiciness so I made quite a mess. It was worth it! The rich sweetness that feels like jellied honey in the mouth was an overwhelming experience of taste I would never forget. Since then, I always look forward to this delicate fruit’s season in the winter months. I only buy them when they are very ripe to enjoy their qualities and I prefer sharons, a certain kind of persimmons from Israel. A couple days ago I spotted a few that were so soft that their skin almost burst. Persimmons are a bit like figs, best when they are close to becoming mousse right in your hands, but if you handle them with care they will reward you with the nicest aroma a fruit can offer!

The sharon has so much natural sweetness, they can easily deal with some bitter flavours. I chose endive (chicory) and radicchio for my light Monday salad, both not particularly shy vegetables which I always buy organic as they still have have their distinct bitterness. Combine the red and pale leaves with the ripe fruit and you’ll have a real firework of aromas in your mouth. This bittersweet combination goes with the seasons, soft vineyard pears in autumn, bright red strawberries in summer, or my glowing persimmons in January. The dressing is also more on the sweet site, some olive oil whisked with orange juice, white Balsamico vinegar and maple syrup to balance out the tart leaves. Heavenly!

Endive, Radicchio and Persimmons Salad

 

Endive, Radicchio and Persimmons Salad

 Endive and Radicchio Salad with Persimmons

For 2 people you need

endive (chicory) 1
radicchio 3 large leaves
sharon (or any other ripe and soft persimmon), peeled and cut into bite sized pieces, 1

For the dressing
olive oil 3 tablespoons
freshly squeezed orange juice 1 tablespoon
white Balsamico vinegar 1 tablespoon
maple syrup 1 teaspoon
salt and pepper

Tear the endive and radicchio leaves into pieces and arrange them with the persimmon on a plate. Whisk the ingredients for the dressing, season to taste and sprinkle on top of the salad.

Endive, Radicchio and Persimmons Salad

 

Endive, Radicchio and Persimmons Salad

 

Endive, Radicchio and Persimmons Salad

 

Endive, Radicchio and Persimmons Salad

Chicory, Pomegranate and Orange Salad with fresh Turmeric

Chicory, Pomegranate and Orange Salad with fresh Turmeric

When it’s grey outside it’s time to bring some colours back to our plates! I combined bitter chicory, or endive, the sweetest red pomegranate and juicy oranges in a powerful salad full of strong flavours and vitamins. The dressing is a bright yellow aroma bomb mixed with freshly grated turmeric, thick apple balsamic vinegar and a little maple syrup – fruity and spicy. This is definitely a keeper for winter! Fresh turmeric root has a very strong taste, so you have to add it carefully, one pinch at a time, to enjoy its qualities in the dressing.

At the moment, my kitchen is stuffed with all kinds of citrus fruits, three big plates piled with lemons, oranges, deep coloured tangerines and the lighter and loose skinned satsumas, or mandarins. It’s so easy to prepare and strengthen the body for winter when these fruits are at hand. I start every morning with a cup of green tea with half a squeezed lemon, my prevention and cure. When I tried it the first time, I got hooked on this warm drink so it became the daily morning ritual of my life. Since then, about four or five years ago, I have rarely been sick. This is my beloved little ceremony, boiling water and letting it cool down to about 80°C (180°F) to brew the fragrant leaves. My lemons are normally from Italy, and always organic, I pour their sour juices into the light green of my tea and take a few minutes just for myself. This is like meditation, I sit down on my sofa with the warm mug in my hands and relax!

Chicory, Pomegranate and Orange Salad with fresh Turmeric

 

Chicory, Pomegranate and Orange Salad with fresh Turmeric

Chicory, Pomegranate and Orange Salad with fresh Turmeric

As a lunch for 2 you need

medium sized chicories (endive) 2
pomegranate 1/2
orange, peeled and cut into filets, 1

For the dressing
olive oil 3 tablespoons
apple balsamic vinegar 1 1/2 tablespoons
freshly squeezed orange juice 1 tablespoon
maple syrup 1/2-1 tablespoon, to taste
fresh turmeric, grated, a bit less than 1/8 teaspoon, to taste
salt and pepper

Whisk the ingredients for the dressing and season to taste.

Spread the chicory leaves and orange filets on 2 plates and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and the dressing.

Chicory, Pomegranate and Orange Salad with fresh Turmeric

 

Chicory, Pomegranate and Orange Salad with fresh Turmeric

Chicory Boats with Pear Dressing and Pink Peppercorns

Chicory with Pear + Red Pepper

Last week I bought some pink peppercorns, the first ones in years. I forgot about them after I used them the last time, I just emptied the jar and it never got refilled. Although the pink berry is the fruit of the Peruvian Pepper Tree it’s not related to common pepper, it’s just a berry. Nevertheless, I used to love them, on steak, in creamy sauces, and even on desserts. That’s actually the reason why I bought them again, in the next few months I want to try out a few sweet combinations. They taste mild, with a flowery aroma, and offer lots of culinary possibilities but first I have to think about a few ideas. For now I’ll start with a simple savory dish.

I have some finger food in mind, an easy in between nibble. I take the big leaves of 3 chicory (also known as endive) and dollop a little of a fruity dressing on top. It’s made of 4 heaped tablespoons of yoghurt mixed with 3 teaspoons of tomato paste and 1 crunchy pear, grated without peel and stirred in as well. I season it with salt and black pepper and my pink peppercorns, crushed and sprinkled on top. The pink berries had a tasty return to my kitchen!

Chicory with Pear + Red Pepper

 

Chicory with Pear + Red Pepper

A Bittersweet Chicory Grapefruit Salad

Chicory Grapefruit Salad

My lunch looks like summer, bright pink and yellow, a glowing sunset on the table! I got my Mediterranean plates out to make the holiday feeling complete. This is a quick salad, it doesn’t require many ingredients or much time. It’s a variation on my Chicory Pear and Walnut Salad, but this time I combine the crunchy chicory with the bitter sweetness of pink grapefruit. It’s lighter, more like spring. Full of vitamins, this mix refreshes the body and mind within seconds!

For a salad for 2 (as a side dish) I cut 2 chicories in half and then into thick slices. I mixed them with the juicy bite sized pieces of half a pink grapefruit, you can use more but I wanted more leaves than fruit on the plates. My dressing is also simple and quick to prepare, 3 small tablespoons of olive oil mixed with 2 small tablespoons of white Basamico vinegar, seasoned with salt and pepper. I drizzled it carefully over my salad, just enough to glaze the leaves and fruit. Too much of the dressing would cover the salad’s sweet bitterness with sourness, they have to keep a balance.

Chicory Grapefruit Salad

 

Chicory Grapefruit Salad

Sweet Pear and Bitter Chicory Salad

Chicory, Pear + Walnut Salad

This was my favourite salad during my university years! When I was too busy to cook or my fridge didn’t have much to offer, this was always an option (besides spaghetti with tomato sauce).  A crunchy sweet and bitter combination which I always love but here especially together with the walnuts. In winter I make sure I have these three in stock, pear and walnuts as a quick snack and chicory is one of my quick emergency dinners. If I’m running out of time, I cut 2 chicories in half, fry them in butter, golden brown on each side and season them with salt and pepper – done.

For my salad I need 2 chicories and 1 pear, both sliced in strips, enough to feed 2-4 people. At lunch time people have different eating habits so it’s hard to estimate the exact amounts. At a dinner party this is definitely enough for a a side dish for 4. I make a light dressing with 3 tablespoons of olive oil mixed with 2 tablespoons of white Balsamico (I can’t live without this vinegar in winter!), seasoned with salt and pepper. You could also add some fresh lemon juice. Some walnuts on top and I’m back in my student years!

Chicory, Pear + Walnut Salad

 

Chicory, Pear + Walnut Salad

 

Chicory, Pear + Walnut Salad