Posts Tagged ‘endive’

“Troubles come not single spies but in battalions…” (Claudius in Hamlet)


Russian actor Nikolai Massalitinov as Claudius with Olga Knipper as Gertrude, fully braced for “troubles”; in the Moscow Art Theatre production of Hamlet–a few years ago!

First it was the TV–no picture from the UK– satellite dish has to be larger now to receive the BBC; then the temperature control on the oven called it a day and now neither of the keys will open the car doors electronically.

And to cap it all in this catalogue of woes (or self pitying monologue), three recipes I was hoping to write up turned out to be duds!

Not exactly a battalion of troubles compared to this horror the folks in Cornwall have been facing.

But enough to tickle the imagination and set off a search for alternatives.

French TV or a good book/internet stuff by the fire? No contest for much of an evening.

No oven? no matter…

Top o’the stove to ye all me ‘arties!

Last night I remembered the spicy dal in the fridge from a couple of nights back–firm enough to form little patties to fry lightly in olive oil.

I had spotted some locally grown endive yesterday at Castres market–those torpedo shaped lettuce that intrigue, but can flummox too. What to do with them other than add to salad?

This recipe from my new book,  Healthy Eating for Life, suggests cooking them in the oven. But no working oven!

I excavated  one good fennel bulb left in the fridge too.

This recipe for pot-roasted fennel from my first cookbook, Delicious Dishes for Diabetics, sautés them slowly on top o’ the stove.


Solution: cook ’em together–on top!!

Sweet fennel, plus the faint bitterness of the endive, finished with squeeze of lemon.

I halved the prepared endives lengthwise to shorten the cooking; then browned them in two fluid ounces of olive oil on a medium flame, uncovered, with the fennel (sliced top to bottom in 8 pieces) and garlic (unpeeled), for ten minutes.

Added four fluid ounces of water to the pan and cooked the mix–covered–for a further twenty minutes–until the vegetables are tender.

We dined last night reflecting on how lucky we are to live in a rectory between a church and cemetery, on a rise where the rain runs downhill bypassing us.


We say it often: The ancients knew a thing or two about where to build their sacred spots.

Read Full Post »

“You say endive and I say chicory—let’s NOT call the whole thing off!”

This is the vegetable in question:

Here in France they call it endive and this is chicorée

In the UK it’s the reverse–perversely.

Oh well–Vive la difference!

This simple method comes from an early Simon Hopkinson book–Roast Chicken and Other Stories.

The bulbs are cooked in a low oven for two hours and emerge with “eat me!” written all over them.

Two medium endive each went well with the chicken last night.

for 2

4 medium endive/chicory bulbs–outer leaves removed, bases sliced off and the bitter little cone carefully  removed with the tip of a sharp knife.

2/3 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper

juice of a lemon

  • Heat the oven to 170C/340F/fan oven 160C
  • Heat the oil in a pan with a lid, that can go into the oven.
  • Place the bulbs in the pan and season with salt and pepper.
  • Turn them in the oil over a medium low flame to color them.
  • Add the lemon juice and let it bubble a moment.
  • Cover the pan and put it in the oven for two hours.
  • Wise to check them now and again–add a little water if necessary.
  • It proved popular in-house!–encore! was heard…

Read Full Post »