Braising softens the slight bitterness in endive. In this preparation the endives are cooked until not only tender, but more importantly, until there has been a real exchange between the buttery lemony braising juices and the endives themselves.
serves 4 to 6
- 12 small, or 8 large belgian endives
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
- ½ cup water, plus more as needed
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 4 tablespoon butter, sliced into ½ tablespoon pieces
- 2 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, minced as garnish, optional
Prepare the endive for cooking: Trim the root ends of the endive, being careful to ensure that the leaves remain attached. Remove any wilted leaves and cut out the brown portions. Wash under cool running water.
Braising the endive: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Arrange the endives in a single layer in a stove top and oven proof casserole or baking dish just large enough to accommodate them. Add the salt, water, lemon juice and butter. Cover the dish with a lid or foil and simmer on top of the stove, until just tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove the cover and lay a piece of parchment cut to size onto the surface of the vegetables. Place into the preheated oven and bake about 2 hours. Baste the endive several times during cooking with the liquid in the dish. You may need to add more water to assure that the liquid remain at about ¼-inch deep. Taste the liquid about halfway through cooking and adjust seasoning if needed.
They are done when the endive is very tender and a pale golden color. Remove from the oven, discard parchment and garnish with parsley if using. Serve warm.