Sunday, January 30, 2011

Braised Endive with Citrus and Honey

Okay, I lied. I said I was done with the January Kitchen Play contest entries when I posted the Endive Tuna Boats, but making those boats left me with the inner portion of the endive. I was going to toss them into salad when I realized that there was one contest recipe that used just the endive hearts. So I had to give that one a try.

If you hadn't guessed, the contest is sponsored by Endive.com. And the recipe I decided to riff off of was the amuse bouche portion of the meal, found here. It was a citrus-braised endive with pancetta. But as a last-minute recipe, I didn't have any pancetta laying around. No bacon, either. Not even a sliver of fatty ham.

So I pared the recipe down to its basics, and then swapped the fresh citrus for some yuzu juice. I bought the yuzu juice a while back, but was waiting for an interesting opportunity to use it. Now seemed to be a good time, since I didn't have any fresh citrus, either. I guess I should think about stocking up on a few things.

But hey, if you don't happen to have any yuzu juice just hanging around, use a more domestic citrus.

If you've made the Endive Tuna Boats I posted before, you probably have the hearts left. Or, if you're starting with brand new endive, peel away the outer leaves to get to the smaller, more white leaves that are tightly held together. You can use the outer leaves in salad, if you care to. Or maybe serve your braised hearts in the outer leaves. That would be pretty.

Braised Endive with Citrus and Honey

Endive hearts
Olive oil
Yuzu (or other citrus) juice
Honey

In a deep skillet heat some salted water to boiling and add the endive hearts. Cook for about 3 minutes, until they are tender but not falling apart. If the water isn't deep enough to cover, turn the endive as the cook, so they'll cook on all sides.

Remove the endive from the pan and dump the water. Dry the pan and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Heat the pan on medium.

Cut the endive into rounds, about 3-4 per heart, depending on how big the hearts are.

Place the endive in the pan, cut side down, and cook until they begin to brown a bit. Turn them over and cook on the second side.

Add a splash of yuzu (or other citrus) juice to the pan and turn the endive rounds to coat. Remove the endive from the pan and place each on a serving spoon or small plate. Take the pan off the heat and add honey, to taste. Depending on which citrus juice you're using, you'll need more or less honey to balance the tartness. Spoon a bit of the honey-citrus over the endive rounds, and garnish as desired. Serve warm.
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