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Endives Vinaigrette, Celeriac Gratin, Stewed Apples, and Lentil Hummus

January 24, 2010

Endives, broiled and dressed with a quick vinaigrette (here’s a little secret: I make more vinaigrette than I need and keep it in a jar in the fridge for a week or two – just give it a shake and it’s ready to go!) are every bit as satisfying a winter salad as ones cooked on the grill, my preferred method of endive caramelization.  Here they are, sharing the spotlight with roast chicken and three-rice blend.

Roast chicken, broiled endives, and rice blend

We ended up having that homey Sunday supper on Saturday, but it was just as delicious a day earlier.  I cored and sliced the apples and threw them in a saucepan with a little water, leftover hard cider, a handful of raw sugar, a cinnamon stick, a pinch of sea salt and a grind of pepper.  I let it cook until the apples had softened considerably and turned a lovely shade or rosy pink from the skins, which I didn’t feel like peeling off.  The celeriac gratin came out even tastier than anticipated, thanks in no small part to the brainwave I had on Saturday afternoon of giving the dish a healthy dose of mustard.  So, shredded celeriac, tossed with a little cider vinegar (to keep it from going brown before the oven made it), thinly sliced monster shallot (a couple of regular shallots or a small onion would work, too), two big spoonfuls each of Dijon and whole-grain mustard, a little shredded Abondance cheese (substitute Comté, Beaufort, or Emmenthal in a pinch), a drizzle of cream, and a handful of breadcrumbs went into a buttered gratin dish and baked for about an hour while the apples stewed and Nick cooked the pork chops.

We’ll be finishing off the leftover gratin and applesauce with some grilled sausages tomorrow night, weather permitting.

Deceptively delicious

This afternoon I cooked up a pot of lentil hummus, and we devoured almost half of it warm.  Rye crackers, corn chips, pretzels (which gave it a vaguely Indian flavor for some reason), and carrot sticks all served as dipping apparati.  The hearty, subtly spiced flavor belies the underlying healthiness of this fantastic dip.  I packed up the rest for Nick to take to a football-watching party tonight, because I just know it will make a great gametime snack (remember that for the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks).  I also just love how quietly beautiful it is: the flecks of green parsley and hints of orange carrot nestled in the warm brown purée remind me of a favorite sweater.  A drizzle of olive oil over the top is just sexy enough, like your best-fitting pair of jeans after you’ve worn them a few too many times.  In other words, perfect for Sunday afternoon.

Originally published on Seasonal Market Menus.

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3 Comments
  1. January 25, 2010 5:14 am

    I’m so glad you liked the lentil hummus! It isn’t exactly beautiful, but I think it’s one of the most delicious ways of eating them.

    I will have to try your endive approach. Normally I hate them, but I tried my first cooked one tonight, and it was actually pleasant.

  2. January 25, 2010 7:00 pm

    nererue – It’s hard to believe something so more-ish is so good for you! And do try caramelizing your endives, whether by grill, oven, or sauté pan. It’s how I learned to like them.

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