A couple of days ago I ordered some ultra-fresh Belgian endives from an independent seller. When I received them, I was very surprised to read on the box: "California - vegetable specialties - Endives".... Aren't the "Belgian" endives Belgian? This gave me the idea of going for a Californian recipe instead of my traditional Belgian one ("chicons au gratin")! In the recipe I followed, the endives are grilled, paired with portobello mushrooms, and topped with a balsamic vinegar dressing. A delight.
(adapted from Everyday Greens Cookbook, p.80)
1 pound portobello mushrooms, 3 to 4 caps (stems removed)
2 heads of Belgian endive, cut in half lengthwise (or in four pieces if too big)
salt + pepper
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or less if you like)
2 handful of tender greens
wedge of Parmesan cheese
1. Brush the mushrooms and endive with garlic oil and sprinkle with salt + pepper. Place the endive on the grill, face side down, and the mushrooms gill side up.
2. When the endives begin to soften, turn them over and grill the other side until wilted and completely tender.
3. When the mushrooms begin to release their juices, turn them over, and grill them until cooked through.
4. Move the vegetables to a cool side of the grill.
5. Combine the vinegar + a couple of pinches salt in a small bowl and whisk in the oil until emulsified.
6. Thinly slice the mushrooms on the diagonal and sprinkle with salt + pepper.
7. Loosely arrange the greens on a platter and place the endive on top, fanning it slightly.
8. Lay the mushrooms on top and pour the vinaigrette over.
9. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese just before serving.
NB: Since the endives tend to cook more slowly than the portobello mushrooms, start with the endives first and add the mushrooms after 5-8 minutes.