More often than not, I'm cooking for two these days- but every so often I find myself preparing dinner just for myself. If I'm feeling exceptionally lazy, I'm likely to head straight for the tunafish and crackers, but sometimes I manage to make slightly more of an effort.
Last night, that meant endive gratin.
I found this recipe on The Wednesday Chef, but I it's originally from Kay Rentschler and was published in the NY Times. It was incredibly easy to throw together and it made for a rich and rather elegant little supper. I also enjoyed running a piece of bread along the bottom of the pan to catch some of the leftover buttery breadcrumbs and sauce.
Belgian Endive Gratin
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons coarse fresh bread crumbs
1 minced garlic clove
2 large heads Belgian endive, cut in two
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 ounces Black Forest ham, cut into 1/4-inch cubes ( 1/4 cup)
1. Heat oven to 450. Melt butter in a small skillet until foamy. Add bread crumbs and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and sauté until fragrant, 10 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Rub endive with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place cut-side down in a shallow baking dish. Roast until spears are golden brown on bottom, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn endive with tongs, add cream and ham, return to oven, and bake until cream has reduced to a glaze, 4 to 5 minutes more.
3. Sprinkle bread crumbs over endive, turning spears to coat. Return to oven for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve.
Yield: 4 side-dish servings.