Endive Belge Étuvée aux Champignons

Braised Chicory with Mushrooms

Chicory, its white leaves folded into each other, is just as good cooked in butter and served hot as it is raw, in a salad with oranges and walnuts. Here I’ve cooked the blanched chicory with a mushroom sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of chicory
  • 30 g(1 oz) butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 thin slice of lard fumé or streaky bacon, diced
  • 115 g(4 oz) cultivated mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tomato, peeled and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2–3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • salt, milled pepper
  • a little crème fraîche or plain yoghurt (optional)
  • finely chopped parsley

Method

Trim the base of the stalk from the chicory and cut each head in half lengthways. Heat the butter with the oil and lightly brown the chicory all over. Transfer to an oven dish and keep hot.

Add the lard fumé or bacon to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and tomato and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the paprika, ground cinnamon, the wine and some salt and pepper. Spoon over the chicory, cover with foil and bake in a moderate oven (Mark 4, 180°C, 350°F) for 20–25 minutes. Alternatively return the chicory to the pan and cook in the sauce, covered, on the hob.

If you wish, spoon the cream or yoghurt on top. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve.