Kitchen Play contest. You know why? Because I keep winning. Yep, I'm on a streak, and if it's going to be this easy, I'm going to keep entering. Or, heck, even if it was a little harder, I'd probably keep entering because it gets me thinking about making things I probably wouldn't have made otherwise.
This time the magic ingredient was endive. Which I pronounce en-dive. Because I'm quirky like that. Pronounce it ohn-deeve if it makes you happy, though. I won't argue.
Anyway, the contest is sponsored by Endive.com. A vegetable with its own website. I mean, why not? The interesting thing is that I've had endive raw at home in salad, and I've probably had it cooked elsewhere, but I've never cooked with it.
I decided to start my contest journey this month with a relatively simple recipe for braised endive. I mean, might as well let the endive be the star. And of course, this let us really taste the endive in all its leafy glory.
My first problem with the recipe was that the store I went to didn't have medium or large endive. They were all pretty darned small. I say "all" like there were a lot of them. There were like, three. You take what you can get. But hey, there's only two of us, so I figured that one endive would make a dainty little side dish. And although I thought I had a lemon to zest at home, it was nowhere to be found. So I let lemon olive oil play that role.
See me riffing on the original recipe? See how easy it is to adapt recipes to what you have or what you like? You don't have to follow recipes slavishly. Do what you like. That's what makes cooking fun. Or, if not fun, it makes it challenging. And when you conquer a challenge, you feel good, right?
1 small-medium endive, bottom trimmed, and cut in half lengthwise.
Chicken or vegetable stock
White wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Sprinkle cut side of endive with salt and pepper, then place cut-side down in a oven-safe baking dish that will hold the endive comfortably, but snugly. Add stock to the dish, just enough to cover about halfway up the endive. Add a splash of the wine vinegar - about a tablespoon.
Cover tightly with foil and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan, turn endive over, and bake another 15-30 minutes (depending on size of endive) until endive is cooked through and just beginning to brown a bit.
Remove endive to serving plate, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and add just a few drops of lemon olive oil to each - or more, to taste. Serve warm.