Holidays are a time of warmth: from the heat of a crackling fire on the hearth to the internal warmth we share with those we love. Family dinners–rich in the comfort of cultural tradition–have always been the focal point of the season. Basted, juicy turkey and sweet ham with a pineapple glaze…creamy mashed potatoes…savory gravy and warm apple pie grace the tables of millions of families every year.
This year, try adding a delicious and healthy side dish using California Endive. Its delightful, unique flavor pairs well with the classic baked pancetta. Pair it with a nice Syrah.
This recipe was contributed by Joanne Weir, Weir Cooking.
Baked Pancetta-Wrapped California Endive
12 slices pancetta (about 6 ounces), sliced paper thin.
6 white California Endive (about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds), ends trimmed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice from ½ a lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut each slice of pancetta into two pieces. Cut the endive into quarters. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the lemon juice. Blanch the endive quarters in the boiling water for 60 seconds. Remove the endive with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels. Toss the drained endive quarters with olive oil and season with pepper. Working with one endive quarter at a time, wrap one piece of pancetta around each piece of endive. Repeat until all of the endive is wrapped.
Place the wrapped endive quarters in a single layer on a 13” x 9” baking sheet, leaving space between each piece. Bake on the top shelf of the oven until the endive is soft and the pancetta begins to crisp on the edges (about 15-20 minutes).
Serve immediately (either hot or warm).
This recipe is designed to serve 6 people.
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Rio Vista, California 94571