Strange but Great: Caramelized Endive w/ Serrano Ham
Who thinks of Belgium endive when making a salad or side dish?
I serve it only as appetizers with a smoked fish spread inside. It is usually bitter tasting and only serves the purpose of little vehicles or boats to carry the dip.
Or so I thought.
This recipe will change your mind about endive forever.
We LOVED this. This is my new side dish for grilled meats and makes a lovely presentation.
It is another unusual, but fantastic recipe from the British cookbook Ottolenghi.
The recipe measurements are all in metric. Grams, ml, blah blah, and I didn't have the patience to look each ingredient up on the metric conversion chart and change it to ounces and cups, so I winged it and it came out terrific.
Ottolenghi's Caramelized Endive w/ Serrano Ham & Breadcrumbs:
4 Belgium endives (buy the freshest you can, without any brown edges), cut in half
4 tbsp butter
2 tsp sugar
2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs (from a brioche or baguette)
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
sea salt & pepper
3-4 tbsp heavy cream (don't use milk or half & half, use the real stuff)
4 slices of Serrano Spanish ham (or good Prosciutto), each slice cut in half
Make your breadcrumbs. In a food processor pulse the bread slices until you get coarse crumbs. Add the cheese and thyme and combine.
Add the cream a little at a time, until it gets to be like a paste (not too wet).
Set the creamy crumb mixture aside.
Let's caramelize some endive spears!
Slice the endive into halves. In a heavy skillet or ridged grill pan, heat the butter with the sugar until bubbling.
Lay the endive halves cut side down and let cook about 3 minutes. Carefully lift them out of the pan and transfer to a baking dish. They should be shiny and have nice grill marks o them.
Spoon some of the cream breadcrumb mixture onto each endive spear and drape with a half slice of Serrano ham (a whole slice is probably too big to drape over the endive half).
Drizzle with olive oil and roast at 425F for 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Use a knife and fork and enjoy. Really yummy.