Aromatic Endive Gratin
Endives! Lovely, mildly bitter and infinitely refreshing endives, or Chicoree as they call it here in Germany- such a wonderful thing! What's my favorite fact about this tasty little veggie? That one of these little beauties has less than 20 calories! Yeah! That means you can add a little bacon to it and not feel bad about it- haha!
Or maybe even eat 2 of them for lunch, like I did!
I had the idea for using a bread crumb topping for this after making so many different versions of my favorite, stuffed artichokes... and this is basically the same thing, only it is much quicker to prepare and perfect for a quick lunch or a light evening meal when the weather is hot and the hunger is a little less ravenous than in the Winter months! Let's take a look and see how it was done...
... first things first- the ingredients!
For each endive you will need just 1 heaped tablespoon of bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon of finely diced bacon, 1 teaspoon of grated salted ricotta cheese, 1 half of a sun-dried tomato, and a tablespoon of finely chopped oregano, parsley and mint. A little honey and balsamic vinegar at the end... and oh-boy have you got a tasty treat on your hands!
Obviously, you will need to cut your endives in half...
...and to chop up those herbs and the sun-dried tomatoes...
...and then all you need to do is to mix up the ingredients for the topping and add a little pepper- there is enough salt in the ricotta, bacon and sun-dried tomatoes to season everything wonderfully.
Simply pop your endives into a frying pan with about an inch of water and let them boil gently for 4-5 minutes until the water has evaporated away and they begin to soften.
Next, simply spoon over the topping, making sure to get plenty in-between the open leaves. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with pepper and pop the whole thing into the oven at a good high heat- 200°C, for 5-10 minutes.
10 minutes later, piping hot and crispy, the endives are ready to be drizzled with honey and popped back under the broiler for just a minute or two... this takes care of the slight bitterness they have and prepares them to be totally awesome once they get drizzled with balsamic vinegar! Yum!
Serve them up with a drizzle of extra honey and balsamic vinegar and prepare your taste-buds for the treat in store! These things simply taste terrific!
Now doesn't that look goood? ;-)