Normally my biweekly CSA delivery comes with a big head or two of lettuce that we use for our regular lunch salads. This week, I received a little note in my box saying they ran out of lettuce and were giving me curly endive (also known as chicory) instead. It looks pretty much like lettuce, but when I tasted it, I realized it's pretty bitter (at least to me). I don't do raw bitter greens. But there was no way I was letting the endive go to waste. So, I did what I do with other veggies I don't love raw--roast them!
Roasting tones down the bitterness in the endive and generally mellows out the flavor. I added some crushed red pepper for heat and garlic-infused olive oil for yummy flavor. It may not look like much, but it really was delicious! And so healthy, too! I think this recipe (if you call it that, it's so simple) would also be good for kale and swiss chard--probably any of the greens you might not like to eat raw.
One thing that always surprises me--and that I want to warn you about--is how much these greens cook down. I used about 2 packed cups of greens, which filled a 9x13 pan about half-way up the side:
When roasted, it's barely 1/2 a cup!
You've been warned!
Roasted Chili-Garlic Endive
(Serves 1 as a side dish)
2 cups curly endive
1.5 tsp. garlic-infused olive oil (regular will work, too)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Tear endive into small pieces (2-3 inches or so) and place in a medium-sized bowl.
Drizzle olive oil over endive and sprinkle with crushed red pepper and salt. Toss to coat evenly.
Spread endive out in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish.
Roast at 400°F for 12-15 minutes until soft and browned around the edges, stirring halfway through.