Orange cooked endives

This intensely flavoured version of simmered endives is wonderful as an accompaniment to game.  It comes from the Winter section of my latest book, Simply Veg A Modern Guide to Everyday Eating (see Books).  Choose a richly floral white dessert wine, such as Beaumes de Venise, for this recipe.

Serves 4

juice of 2 oranges

285ml/ pint sweet white dessert wine

5 sprigs lemon thyme

6 small heads Belgian endive (chicory)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

55g/2oz unsalted butter


1  Put the orange juice, dessert wine and lemon thyme in a shallow wide non-corrosive saucepan.


2  Trim the base of the Belgian endives and remove any battered outer leaves.  Slice in half lengthways and place in one layer in the saucepan making sure each half is thoroughly coated in the orange juice.  Season to taste and fleck the top with half the butter. 


3  Roughly crumple up some greaseproof paper, then gently press over the Belgian endive and liquid to prevent the endive from discolouring.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.


4  Remove the endive from the pan, but keep warm.  Boil the cooking liquid vigorously until it has reduced to a syrupy sauce.  Remove from the heat, swirl in the remaining butter and adjust the seasoning to taste.  Return the endives to the pan and serve immediately.


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