Oven-roasted Endive with Saint-marcellin

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Named after the town of Saint-Marcellin near Grenoble in the French Alps, this cow’s milk cheese is usually eaten fresh. It’s sold in a round terra-cotta dish that you might like to keep for another use. Tangy and creamy, it’s scrumptious melted over endive—if not eaten from a spoon.

Ingredients

  • Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing
  • 5 l arge or 10 small heads Belgian endive
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into pieces ½ inch (12 mm) wide
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Saint-Marcellin cheeses, cut into slices ½ inch (12 mm) thick
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a shallow baking dish. Cut each endive in half lengthwise and then cut away most of the solid base from each half, leaving only enough to hold the half together. Arrange them, cut side up, in a single, tightly packed layer in the baking dish. Dot with the tablespoons butter. Set aside.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, fry the bacon just until it begins to render its fat, then add the onions and cook until the onions are translucent and the bacon starts to crisp, about 10 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper. Spoon the bacon-onion mixture on top of the endives, tucking it in around them. Top with the cheese and sprinkle with the thyme leaves.

Bake until the cheese is fully melted and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

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