By braising the endives in the following recipe, you’ll take the edge off of the normally bitter and crunchy leaves, bringing out a delightful sweetness that compliments the citrus of the oranges.
The intermingling flavors work well to offset the subtle saltiness of the black olives and the fiery, piquant Arbol Chile. The dish is topped with a dash of either fresh parsley or cilantro, providing just a hint of earthy spice that aesthetically accents the drizzled syrup and gives it a beautiful finish.
This recipe, compliments of Chef Eric Tucker (Millenium Restaurant), serves 4 as a part of an antipasti. Pair it with a crisp Pinot Blanc or a dry aligote—preferably from 2007. The bitter notes will work well with the flavors.
4 heads California Endive, sliced in half lengthwise
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Zest of ½ an orange
Juice of 1 whole orange
1 teaspoon unrefined sugar
½ sprig rosemary
1 Arbol Chile*
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 oranges, peeled and cut into thin rounds
¼ cup of coarsely chopped oil-cured black olives
Copped cilantro or parsley for garnish.
* Arbol chilies are narrow, curved chilies that start out green and mature to a bright red. These peppers are very hot and are closely related to cayenne pepper.
Slice the endives in half, lengthwise, and place them upside down in a small baking dish. Add the oil, orange zest, juice, sugar, rosemary and Chile. Season it with salt and pepper. Cover the dish and bake it 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 and slowly simmer it until it is a tad syrupy. Cool it until it is at room temperature and then blend it thoroughly with a whisk. Cover the bottom of the plate with the orange slices and place the endive cut-side-up over them. Drizzle with the cooled syrup and sprinkle it with the black olives and cilantro or parsley.
For more delicious endive recipes, please visit http://endive.com/recipes.
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