Braised Endive is a pretty typical and traditional French recipe. Braised vegetables in general can be found on almost any French Restaurant’s menu. And not to mention, unlike Americans who have a distaste for bitterness and associate it negatively, Europeans don’t have this hang up. They welcome bitterness with open arms as just another taste to tantalize and intrigue the palate.
Personally, I must say that in this matter I side with the French. I like bitter vegetables! This has become evident to me over the years, because every year at my family’s Passover Cedar I simply relish the opportunity to eat the bitter herbs. According to tradition, these herbs are supposed to represent our sadness and tears, but to me they just taste pretty darn good…
In case I turned you off of this recipe already by painting a bitter picture, let me let you in on the sauce. I’ve turned the braising liquid that the endive is cooked in, into a beautiful sweet balsamic reduction that pairs perfectly with the taste and soft texture of the tender endive. This is a basic formula, but if you pair these endives with a bed of baby greens and some roasted beets you are in for a heavenly treat.
On a side note, for digestion and food combining, let me fill you in on where this side dish stands. It is a perfectly neutral food since it is simply a vegetable that is not accompanied by a starch, protein, or fruit. Therefore, it can be combined with any meal, be it a protein or plant based lunch or dinner.
Personally I like to treat this dish as a feature in a big raw salad, although it stands alone nicely as well.
In terms of digestibility, even the people who are ailed by constant bloating and IBS symptoms should not have any trouble digesting this. Braised vegetables are essentially incredibly soft and very cooked. This makes them buttery in texture and therefore very easy for the small intestine to break them down without discomfort.
Since this recipe is obviously gluten-free and vegan just about anyone can enjoy it!
Braised Endive with Balsamic Reduction
- 1 T Olive Oil
- 1 Endive sliced in half long ways
- 2 Cups Vegetable Stock or Water
- 2 T Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/16 th t Salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1: Heat oil in a skillet until it shimmers over a medium flame. Add endive to the pan and brown on both sides. Add enough of the stock to cover the endive half way and cover partially. Allow the endive to cook in the simmering liquid until when pierced with a knife the knife slides out easily. This means the endive is done. Remove from the skillet. This takes about 20-25 minutes.
- 2: Add the balsamic vinegar, salt and a dash of pepper to the pan. Then turn up the flame to medium and allow the cooking liquid to reduce down to a Nappe consistency. Once the desired thickness is reached the reduction is done. Remove from heat immediately to serve.