Vegan Endive Gratin
I love this dish because it's truly a whole that is better than the sum of its parts. it's a little bit bright, a little bit bitter, a little bit crunchy and just a whole mess of delicious. anything that cooks things in a sauce for a period of time is alright by me. To me this dish is a winter side that eats like a summer slammer. it's got citrus, it's got herbs, it's got bread crumbs and it's just everything you want in one bite. It also happens to make you look like you know what the hell you're doing in the kitchen (I mean, I don't. I thought you did?).
Make this when you want to conjure the ghost of julia child and hear her infectious laugh. Or even just when you want to throw the razzle dazzle down on the table and show people what you can do. (I hear if you say her name three times in the mirror she appears and bakes you into the more tender, flakiest fruit-filled bake goods you've ever had).
HERE WE GO....
2 heads of endive, trimmed and cut in half
1 grapefruit, cut into segments
1 cup of bread crumbs *use up that old bread!*
2 cups of parsnip puree (dont panic! the recipe is below)
1/4 cup of herb salsa verde (this one you can find on the site, I switched out the walnuts with sunflower seed and added an additional tablespoon of red wine vinegar)
neutral cooking oil
1. In a cast iron (or any deep enough skillet), add enough oil to cover the bottom and bring to high heat. Salt your endive to season it properly and sear them cut side down. Reduce heat to medium and cook until golden & caramelized (about 4 minutes).
2. Reduce heat to low, flip endive over (the centre should still be crunchy) and pour parsnip puree into the pan. Bring to a gentle boil and braise in the pan until the centre is just slightly tender. Remove from heat and prepare to garnish.
3. Add a squeeze of grapefruit juices, some olive oil, heavy salt to get things rolling. When you're absolutely ready to serve, add your herb salsa, grapefruit & breadcrumbs on top. Serve immediately and be generous with the sauce!
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into rounds
1/2 onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
just enough water to cover
1. add parsnips, onion and garlic into a medium sized pot and cover with just enough water. The key here is to cook everything until it is tender without adding colour to it.
2. Bring liquid to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer. Add a pinch of salt and cook until tender (about 20 minutes).
3. In a blender, add the parsnips, onion and garlic but keep the water in the pot. Add only as much water as needed for this until you get that perfectly creamy texture. Place off to the side for braising (it should have the consistency of thin yogurt)