Caramelized Endive with Gruyere

by angelika on August 23, 2011

One of the items I gifted my mother in law for her recent birthday was Ottolenghi’s new cookbook Plenty. When she told us she was planning a visit not a week later, I asked her if she would think me rude to ask her to bring the book up with her. She was more than happy to oblige, and I in turn poured through the book and selected no less than 10 recipes we will test while she is here.

The first is this Caramelized Endive with Gruyere. Now, I am a big fan of endive, both raw and cooked. I love bitter greens in general, and I especially adore the way endive sweetens when roasted. When I saw roasted endive paired with gruyere I knew instantly this was a recipe for me. What I did not anticipate, was that this was apparently also the recipe for (vegetable adverse) Little Man, who ate a serving as big as the adults! Caramelizing the endive adds an amazing sweetness that is accentuated even more when you roast it with thyme and gruyere cheese. The last minute addition of bread crumbs gives a nice crunch that really takes the texture to the next level. The fact that this dish is fast and really easy is the icing on the cake.

Caramelized Endive and Gruyere 
serves 4 
(or 3 adult and two kids) 
4-6 endives cut in half lengthwise
1 1/2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon thyme leaves, finely minced
7 ounces gruyere, sliced
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
fresh black pepper
I say 4-6 endive as it really depends on the size. I used 6 as they were small. If I had found 4 larger endive that would have been perfect too. 
Preheat the oven to 375º.
In a heavy pan with a flat bottom melt the butter and olive oil on medium heat.  Add the sugar, then lay the endive cut side down. Do this in two batches, so as not to crowd the endive. (unless you have a giant skillet) Leave the endive, without touching them, for 3-5 minutes. You can peek and see if they have turned golden. Remove the endive to a baking dish that will fit them snugly. 
Sprinkle half the thyme, then lay the sliced gruyere cheese on top, and sprinkle the remainder of the thyme. Bake at 375º until the cheese has melted. About 10- 12 minutes. 
Add the bread crumbs. The original recipe called for a scant 1 1/2 teaspoons of bread crumbs. I could not make this work. I only lightly dusted the endive but I used a couple of tablespoons. Give the dish a few cracks of the pepper mill and bake again. Ottolenghi suggests raising the oven temp to 400º and giving it another 5-7 minutes until the crumbs are golden.  Being less than patient I tured on the broiler and gave it 3. If you choose to use the broiler, do not step away! It goes fast. 
Give the dish a few minutes to set up and then dig in! It is so delicious I am sure endive will head straight to the top of your favorite veggie dishes too. 
A votre santé!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Discover Endive August 25, 2011 at 10:43 am

Hi Angelika,

What a lovely endive dish! And the fact that it won approval from all members of the household? We couldn't be more thrilled. Thanks for sharing the recipe and results!

Casey Benedict
on behalf of Discover Endive.


Angelika August 31, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Hi Casey! Thanks for your kind words. I hope you get a chance to try this, being the endive ambassador. It is probably my favorite complimentary flavor profile.


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