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!
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.
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.
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.