Belgian Endive Braised with Garlic and Fresh Mint

Submitted by John on Thu, 06/25/2020 - 01:12
Region
Description

Indivie Intere Here's a very simple, flavorful way to bring a little-used vegetable into play with any rich heavy main course. The dripping-wet endives are braised in their own liquid in olive oil flavored with garlic and mint. Cooking reduces the natural bitterness of the endive without eliminating it completely.

Indivie Intere "a Crudo" are traditionally served with roasts, especially with veal, but they will do well with any heavy main course where cooked bitter greens do well. The bitterness helps to cut the unctuousness of the fat in such dishes. 

I think this is likely to fight with a red wine that has any tannins in it; from that perspective the bitterness serves the purpose of the tannins in the wine. I might serve this when the best wines of the dinner are done and we're on to something softer, or maybe with a white wine. 

I show this on a bed of Black Venus Rice, but I bet it would be a bang-up dynamic pairing with the Gorgonzola Risotto

Yield
4 Servings
Preparation time
20 minutes
Instructions
  1. Soak the endives in cold water for a few minutes.
  2. Heat up the oil in a heavy braising pan, along with the crushed garlic.
  3. When the garlic browns, remove it. Add two of the mint sprigs and the endives, still dripping. (If the outer leaves are ugly, remove them first.)
  4. Cover and cook over low-medium heat until tender, 10-15 minutes.
  5. When tender, discard the cooked mint and add salt and pepper if you think it's needed, or else a little drizzle of a great single-estate extra-virgin olive oil.
  6. Garnish with the remaining mint leaves and serve hot.
Notes
I have gotten some wonderful single-estate extra-virgin olive oils from Olioveto (https://olioveto.com/). I had the peppery Crognalegno from Tommaso Mascantonio with this; it was too punchy for Lorna but I thought it put it out of this world :)
Source
Italian Regional Cooking, Ada Boni