According to Dorie Greenspan, the author of Around My French Table, if you have never been a fan of endives it's because you have never tried this recipe for pan roasted Endives, Apples, and Grapes. Adapted from Alain Passard, a French chef with an undeniable passion for vegetables, the recipe combines sweet, bitter, and herbaceous notes to great effect. The complexity of flavor belies the simplicity of the process.
Bitter endives are pan-roasted on the stovetop with quarters of sweet-tart apples and green grapes, along with a few sprigs of rosemary and a bit of butter. The fruits and vegetables caramelize in the pan, gaining sweetness, rendering their juices, and basting as they cook. The combination of rosemary and apples instantly had me thinking about cool weather cooking and prematurely imagining how wonderful this dish would be as part of a Thanksgiving spread.
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Around My French Table to give away this week.
- Yield:4 as a starter, or 2 as a main course
- 2 plump endives
- 1 tart-sweet apple, such as Fuji or Gala
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter (if you can find butter with sea salt crystals, use it)
- 4 small clusters white or green grapes (in France, I like to use Muscat grapes)
- 4 small sprigs rosemary
- Salt, preferably fleur de sel, and freshly ground pepper
Cut the endives lengthwise in half. Cut the apple into quarters and remove the core. Peel off a thin strip of skin down the center of each quarter.
Put a large skillet (nonstick is best) over low heat and toss in the butter. When it's melted, put the endive into the pan cut side down and the apples skin side up. Add the grapes, scatter over the rosemary, and cook, undisturbed for 20 minutes, at which point the underside of the endives will have caramelized and the apples and grapes will be soft and perhaps browned. Gently turn everything over, baste with any liquid in the pan, and cook for 20 minutes more.
Transfer the ingredients to a warm serving platter or to individual plates and, using a sturdy wooden spoon or silicone spoon, scrape up the cooking sugars sticking to the bottom of the pan. You might want to pour a few spoonsfuls of water into the pan to help you nab the sugars and make a spare amount of sauce. Season the endive with salt and pepper, spoon over the jus, and serve.