When Belgian bitterness becomes sweet

This recipe always reminds me of my sister. She didn’t like Belgian endive because of the bitterness. Orange braised endive on the other hand is a very tasty dish, inspired by Discover Endive.

Orange braised endive

In my childhood Belgian endives where always a point of discussion in our house. My mother always served them in a classic way with cheese and ham. But because of the fact they where cooked they always still had the core and the bitterness.

I like the bitterness, my sister didn’t. It was never her favourite dish. Because I like the bitterness I began to wonder if you could keep this flavour and also add other interesting ingredients. I came across the recipe of Discover Endive. Btw, the original recipe is from Wickedgooddinner. The idea of grapefruit and pancetta sounded very good.

I decided to go with orange, smoked bacon and baby argula from my own garden. I was very happy with the end result. It is a great starter and I’m sure my sister would love this dish!

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 Belgian Endives
1 orange
1 garlic clove
1 small piece of ginger
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp honey
125 grams smoked bacon


First of all you cook the whole Belgian endives for about 5 minutes in boiling water. Don’t bother cutting them, because you can do that later. In the meanwhile you can cut the bacon in pieces. When the endives are finished you can remove the outer leaves and cut the core into small evenly rounds. Watch out for your hands, this can be hot.

Bake bacon in a frying pan until crispy. When the bacon is in the pan you can go and start to create the honey mixture. This is fairly easy. Just make a mixture of with the juice of 1 orange, chopped ginger & garlic, vinegar & honey in a bowl. Set this bowl aside.

When your bacon is crispy remove it from the frying pan. You can use the leftover fat for the rest of the preparation, so don’t clean it. Add a bit of olive oil and add the endive rounds. Cook about 3 minutes or until they are caramalized. After that remove the endive from the pan. Again, don’t clean the pan. You want to use the flavours.

Add the honey mixture to the pan and reduce the mixture until it gets a bit of structure of a syrup. After that you can add the Endive again and stir it a bit up so that the honey mixture covers the Endive.

Remove the pan from the gas and start assembling. I placed three endive rounds on a plate, added some crispy bacon and also used some fresh baby argula from my own garden.

Recipe source: Discover Endive



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