While abroad in Rennes, France, I lived with this host family that was so amazing, at times I wondered if they were real. My host mom (Blandine) opened my eyes to so many amazing new dishes that were beautiful, elegant and most times butter-filled dreams. The best part was that she made it all look so easy.
I had never had endive before or even heard of it. To be honest, when I saw this leafy member of the daisy family, I was a little nervous about Blandine sticking it straight into the oven.
Soon, after she had just “whipped up” some creamy pumpkin soup, roasted chicken and a beschamel potato gratin, she was pulling the endives out of the oven and they had melted into this soft, golden buttery morsel of goodness. It’s no mistake that endives were nicknamed ‘white gold’ after it’s arrival to Paris. From then on, I was hooked.
Since coming back to America, I hadn’t seen them anywhere and my love quickly fell under the radar. And then I spotted them. Labeled “Belgian Endives” at the market and I quickly nabbed four and didn’t turn back.
Here is my dedication to Blandine:
Braised Belgian Endives
4 Medium Belgian endives
3-4 T. Butter (I told you it was French)
1-2 tsp. Fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. Sugar
1 c. Water
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dash of garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 325° F.
Melt the butter in a small bowl and add the remaining ingredients except the endives.
Trim the ends of the endives. Be sure to also omit any wilting or wilted leaves — those tend to be pretty bitter.
Place the endives in a medium sized baking dish and pour over the butter mixture.
Cover the baking dish with tinfoil or parchment paper and place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. At this time, take a spoon and re-dress the endives and turn them over.
Then bake for another 30 to 45 minutes until the endives are tender and golden.
Ready to serve.
Blandine likes to slice them and serve them in a bowl or you can serve them as I did for individual sized portions.
These taste like buttery heaven, so be jealous, or make your own.