Thursday, July 12, 2012

Grilled Endive

This recipe works with any variety of endive such as leafy heads of curly endive, frisée, or escarole (aka chicory), as well as purple heads of radicchio and even Belgian endives (witloof). Endives are desirable for their bitter characteristics when mixed with mild greens in fresh salads. However, grilling endives tames their bitter qualities and turns them sweet. Grilled endives are wonderful served plain with grilled meats and also take to a variety of garnishes.

Grilled endivesMakes 4 servings
1 pound endives (curly endive, frisée, escarole, radicchio, chicory, Belgian endives, etc.)
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil, or as needed to brush the endives for grilling
A pinch of sea salt
A few grindings of freshly ground pepper
  1. Trim and discard any bruised outer leaves from the head of endive. Cut head in half vertically. Dry endives, and then brush with the oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes, or up to two hours.
  2. Grill the endives in one of the following ways.
  • Oven grilling: Preheat the broiler. Set the oven rack so that the endives will be 4 inches from the broiling unit. Broil cut side up until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Turn vegetables and allow to brown on the other side. The key is to brown slowly to develop flavor without burning.
  • Stove top or outdoor grilling: Preheat a griddle or outdoor grill on high heat. Lower heat slightly. Arrange endives in a single layer on the grill. Cook, turning every 1-2 minutes until the endives turn a rich, crusty brown on both sides, about 10 minutes total.
    Serve the endives. Cut endives into 4-6 serving portions and place on a serving platter or individual plates. Serve warm or at room temperature with sauce or accompaniments.

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