When baked, endive loses its bitter edge and turns mellow, as in this flavorful Italian dish that’s the perfect accompaniment to roast pork or chicken on a chilly autumn evening. If you can’t find red Belgian endive, you can substitute the white variety instead.
Baked Red Endive with Tomatoes and Pancetta
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
- 4 heads red Belgian endive, halved lengthwise
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 2 oz. (60 g) pancetta, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) dry white wine
- 1 cup (7 oz./220 g) canned diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Preheat an oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly oil an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking dish.
2. In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Arrange the endive halves in the dish, cut side down. Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the endive halves to the prepared dish, cut side up.
3. Add the carrot, celery, pancetta and garlic to the fry pan and sauté over medium heat until the vegetables have begun to soften, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper to taste and sauté until the vegetables are soft and the pancetta is starting to crisp, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and pour in the wine. Cook until most of the wine has evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.
4. Spoon the sauce over the endive halves, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and sprinkle with the cheese, then bake, uncovered, until the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes longer. Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve. Serves 4.
Find more recipes like this one in our enticing collection of authentic dishes made modern, Rustic Italian, by Domenica Marchetti.