|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 6g||8%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||18%|
|Total Carbohydrate 7g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||18%|
|Total Sugars 0g|
|Vitamin C 5mg||25%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Slowly cooking Belgian endives in a bit of butter and lemon juice transforms these otherwise crunchy bitter leaves into tender, luscious, almost sweet bundles. It's kitchen alchemy at its finest. The endives begin on the stovetop in some liquid and cook covered until tender; they are then browned either on the stove or finished in a hot oven. What results is a delicious side dish that is fabulous alongside a classic roast chicken, grilled steak, or broiled fish.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 to 12 Belgian endives
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup water, chicken stock, or white wine
1 teaspoon sugar, optional
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Put a large, heavy frying pan, sauté pan, or pot over medium-low heat. Whatever vessel you choose should have a tight-fitting lid. When the pan is hot, add the butter.
While the butter melts, trim off and discard any browned bits from the ends of the endives, and remove any bruised or browning exterior leaves.
Lay the endives in a single layer in the pan. Sprinkle them with the lemon juice and salt.
Add the water, pouring down along the side of the pan (you don't want to wash off the salt you've just sprinkled on).
If you want to cut the bitterness in the final dish even further than the braising will do alone, sprinkle the endives with the sugar.
Cover the pan. You want a nice, tight fit with the lid. If steam is escaping, lay a piece of foil over the top of the pan and then put on the lid. Or, cut a piece of parchment paper to fit in the pan directly over the endives and then cover the pan (feel free to do this even with a tight-fitting lid; it helps the endives brown evenly).
To continue cooking on the stovetop, reduce the heat to low. Let the endives cook, undisturbed, until they are very tender, about 30 minutes.
To finish cooking in the oven, put the pan in a 375 F oven (make sure the pan is oven-safe) and cook for 30 to 40 minutes. (This method is more likely to result in more evenly browned endives.)
When the endives are very tender, remove the lid (and the foil or parchment paper, if you used it), return the pan to the stove if it's been in the oven, and cook over medium heat until any liquid in the pan evaporates. If the endives haven't started to brown, cook until they begin to color.
Turn the endives over and cook until they are browned all over. (If you added sugar, you'll need to watch them quite carefully at this point, since the sugar will make them brown more quickly.)
Serve them hot or warm.
If you are having trouble getting the endive to brown, there are a few tips to follow:
- Make sure to place a piece of parchment directly on top of the Belgian endive when braising.
- Finish cooking in the oven instead of the stovetop as the endives tend to brown better.
- If there is still liquid in the pan at the end of the cooking process, remove the endive to a plate and cook the liquid until it has almost evaporated. Return the endive to the pan and cook, turning often, until browned on all sides.