Saturday, 22 January 2011

Belgian Endive with Blood Oranges & Honey

This was not the most attractive looking dish I have ever made (although I've seen worse, I'm sure) but it worked out just the way I hoped it would. The slightly bitter endives were right at home in the slightly sweet and tangy orange and honey sauce, and they balanced each other beautifully. Blood oranges aren't local, but they are seasonal and great to have right now to give a boost to our winter vegetables, which tend to be pale, or starchy, or both.

I served this with baked chicken thighs which was a good choice as I didn't have to fiddle with them and could give my attention to the vegetables.

4 servings
20 minutes prep time

Belgian Endive with Blood Oranges and Honey
4 to 6 Belgian endives (450 grams or 1 pound)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 or 3 blood oranges

Put a kettle with a litre (quart) of water on to boil. Meanwhile, wash and trim the ends of the endives, and cut them in halves, or quarters if large, lengthwise. Put them in a strainer in the sink. When the water boils, pour it over them. I find it best to pour over about half, then turn over the endives and pour the remainder of the water over them. This helps keep them evenly blanched. Drain well. Peel the oranges and chop each segment into 3 or 4 pieces.

Heat the butter in a medium sized heavy skillet, one that will hold the endives somewhat snuggly in a single layer. Once it is hot, add the drained endives and spread them out as much as possible. Pour over about 2 or 3 tablespoons of water, and season with the salt and the honey. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the water is reduced.

Turn the endives over after the 5 minutes and add the chopped orange segments. Continue cooking, turning the vegetables as needed to keep them cooking evenly, until the sauce thickens and the oranges are soft.

Last year at this time I made Whole Wheat Tortillas, Refried Beans and Braised Beef Brisket.

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