A short walk around the local markets reveals stalls bursting with endive. The bitter leaves are wonderful in a summer salad with a mix of greens, some shaved fennel, and cubes of avocado, but it's a vegetable that responds very well to braising.
For those who have been put off by chicory's bitter reputation, gently cooking the heads with sweet honey and acidic citrus transform the flavours into something altogether softer, more likely to convert.
You can serve this chicory recipe with all manner of meats, from roasted chicken to grilled pork, but it works particularly well with aiguilettes de canard au miel, a Perigord favourite. The natural bitterness of the chicory offsets the honey in both dishes, and the result is a meal you don't need a sweet tooth to enjoy. Follow this with a sharp green salad and a plate of cheese and you will be eating like a local.
Honey and orange braised chicory
- 1 chicory head per person
- 1 tbsp olive oil per 4 heads of chicory
- 1 tbsp honey per 4 heads of chicory
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves per 4 heads of chicory
- the juice and zest of half an orange per 4 heads of chicory
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 180C, then prepare the chicory by trimming the root end before slicing each head in half lengthways.
- Mix all of the remaining ingredients to make the dressing, and place the chicory face-down in an ovenproof dish. Cover with the dressing and season.
- Roast for around an hour, turning and basting the chicory at 15-minute intervals. It is ready when the liquid has cooked down to a thick, sticky syrup and the chicory has caramelised.