Endive Right In

23 01 2009

So Nick and I have finally managed to sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture, for you non-hippies out there) in Paris! I’d been trying, unsuccessfully, for most of the fall, but it seems to have become very popular and the company/co-op that runs it had to stop taking new subscribers until they got more farms involved.  I checked their website daily and as soon as it became available, I signed up.  Now I stop by an office about a block from my apartment on Wednesday afternoons and pick up a large paper bag filled with organic fruits and vegetables.  It’s awesome.  The first one may have been the best because I had no idea what to expect, but I had planned on making a pizza with whatever was inside – excitement!

Fresh organic endives from the Loire valley

Turns out I got endives (and potatoes, onions, apples, and Brussels sprouts).  Now, I really like endives grilled.  They make an excellent warm salad, and if you have access to a grill, I highly recommend halving some endives lengthwise, drizzling them with olive oil, and slapping them cut-side down on a hot grill for a few minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and serve with bacon vinaigrette.  I do not have access to a grill.  We often get endives at work to cook for the plat du jour.  They are boiled to within an inch of their life and left to drain on a rack over the sink.  Let me tell you, that mound of steaming, limp, grayish-green vegetables is wholly unappetizing.  Then they are combined with a cheesy sauce and served with some kind of roast meat, usually pork.  It’s not terrible, but I know endives can be so much better.

Endive pizza - before

Determined to forge ahead with my pizza plan, I hoped that oven-roasting would affect the endives in a way at least similar to grilling.  I rolled out my dough, scattered caramelized onions (what else?) over it, and then arranged halved endives, cut-side up, on top.  I sprinkled on some olive oil and popped it in the oven for 15 minutes.  As I had hoped, the endives had begun to caramelize by that time, so I topped them with a generous layer of Abondance (it just seemed appropriate) and returned the pizza to the oven to finish baking.

Endive pizza - after

The result?  Simple, delicious, and great with a glass of wine.  The best part?  Since the endives were already on the pizza, I didn’t even have to make a side salad!  I had another success later in the week, when I broiled the rest of the endives and served them (on Nick’s suggestion) napped with a creamy béchamel sauce.  Turns out I don’t need a grill to make endives taste good after all.

Originally published on Croque-Camille.








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