By Kara Mae Adamo.
Recipe was contributed by Chef Eric Tucker, Millennium Restaurant
At Christmas, winter winds whistle outside, drawing families closer to the dancing flames on the hearth. An almost ethereal glow illuminates the kitchen, wrapping in amongst the sweet, juicy aromas of each family’s favorite Christmas meal and the fresh pine of a beautiful Christmas tree. The sounds of laughter and sizzling sauces weave together in a delicate harmony indicative of the closeness and merriment that only the winter holidays can bring.
This season, invite the warmth of braised California Endive to the table. Uniquely spicy with the mouth-watering citrus zest, this dish is seeped in a tangy flavor rivaled only by the delightful aroma of its spices. The side dish recipe goes well with Christmas goose or turkey and a crisp, dry Pinot Grigio.
Braised California Endive with Black Olives and Orange
4 heads California Endive, sliced in half lengthwise
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Zest of ½ orange
Juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon unrefined sugar
½ sprig rosemary
1 Arbol chile*
Salt and Black Pepper as needed
2 oranges, peeled and cut into thin rounds
¼ cup coarsely chopped oil cured black olives
Chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish
*Chiles de Arbol, or Arbol chilies, are narrow, curved chilies that start out green and mature to a bright red. The Arbol chile is very hot, and related to cayenne pepper.
In a small baking dish, place the endive cut side down. Add the oil, orange zest and juice, sugar, rosemary and the chile. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and bake in a 400-degree oven for 1 hour. Remove the endive and reserve. Discard the rosemary and chile. Place the accumulated liquid in a sauce pan. Slowly simmer until just syrupy. Cool to room temperature, and then whisk to blend thoroughly.
To serve, cover the bottom of the plate with the orange slices. Place the endive cut side up over the oranges. Drizzle with the cooled cooking liquid. Sprinkle with the olives and cilantro or parsley.
This recipe is designed to serve 4 people.
15 Poppy House Road
Rio Vista, California 94571