Roasting leafy vegetables has always seemed a bit foreign to me. I didn’t grow up with Grilled Romaine or Crispy Kale. Leafy greens in my day were for salads only. But it’s all the rage now, and as I’ve discovered, it’s really nothing new. This Sicilian side dish has been around for generations. Using roasted Belgian Endive, it has a unique flavor that you will find no where else. The sweetness of the oranges takes the edge off the often bitter taste Belgian Endive can have. Once roasted in butter, fresh orange juice, sea salt and a little sugar, the endives mellow into a buttery sweet yumminess. The first time your guests taste it they may have this “Hmm. Not sure what I think of this” look on their faces, as I did with my first bite. But now I’ve grown to crave it.
Baked Belgian Endive with Oranges
6 Belgian Endive bulbs
4 tablespoons butter
2 oranges – Juice of one large orange plus slices from half an orange
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
fresh ground pepper
Preheat your galley oven to 350º
Have a baking dish ready, or pie pan or…like we did tonight…a molded aluminum foil pan. Anything that can contain the melted butter and endives. Melt the butter over a low flame and pour into a baking “dish.”
Cut the endives in half, lengthwise, and roll in the butter so they are coated all over. Lay in the pan, cut side up and drizzle the orange juice over the endives. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
The Italians know how to prepare fresh food – don’t let seasonings overpower the flavor of fresh food.
Place them in your 350º oven and roast for 45 minutes. Tonight we doubled up with a Stuffed Flank Steak, always a crowd pleaser!