Belgian endive gratin

Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields Serves 6
Belgian endive gratin

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove any discolored outer leaves and the brown bases from the endive heads. Cut the heads in half lengthwise or in quarters if they are very thick.


Generously butter an 11- by 7-inch baking dish. Arrange the endive in the baking dish in two overlapping layers. Sprinkle with sugar, season with one-half teaspoon salt, add the wine and dot with butter. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake until the endive is tender, about 30 minutes.


Remove the foil and return the baking dish to the oven. Bake until the liquid has mostly evaporated and the endive is beginning to brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.


In the meantime, whip the cream to soft peaks then stir in the egg yolk. Add one-fourth teaspoon salt. When the endive is browned, pour the whipping cream mixture over the top, distributing it evenly. Scatter one-fourth cup walnuts evenly over the top. Bake until the topping is puffed and golden, about 15 to 17 minutes.


To serve, sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons walnuts on top and serve immediately.

I learned the technique for this topping from Roger Verge’s “Vegetables in the French Style.” It will adapt nicely for other gratins.

Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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