Braised endive, or braised endives, is basically an endive dish prepared through the method of braising. Popularly believed to be a French invention, braising, also known as pot roasting, is a cooking method that effectively combines and uses both moist and dry heat to cook vegetables and meats. While the technique is mostly preferred for heard meats, vegetables are also sometimes cooked to infuse them with flavor and aroma.
An endive is a leafy green vegetable that is eaten both raw and cooked. It is noteworthy that raw endives have a slightly bitter taste that does not appeal to many people. Braising is, therefore, the preferred method to cook the vegetable. It not only takes out the bitterness from endives, but, gives them a rich and delectable flavor. The vegetable cooks in its own juices and this adds to the taste.
It is believed that endives have been braised since the ancient times but there is almost no information on how exactly the dish came into being.
Ingredients Used in Preparation of Braised Endives
A braised endive dish, when prepared in the most basic and traditional way, consists of just endives, oil, butter and salt. No other ingredients are added and this makes the traditional recipe a light and quick preparation. Over time, however, the dish has evolved and there are various regional versions of it. Also, endives are of various types and each variety is braised with different set of ingredients.
The endive used in the traditional recipe is the Belgian endive. Other recipes could call for the use of the curly endive or escarole.
Sometimes, meat cuts are also added when making braised endives to make the preparation richer and more flavorful. Peas, carrots, tomatoes and onions are the most commonly added vegetables. Cheese is at times used as topping and cilantro is the common garnish. Herbs and spices can be added for taste.
How to Braise Endive?
An endive is braised much like most other vegetables. Braised endive, when made in the simple traditional way, is an easy dish to prepare and the cooking time is about 30 to 35 minutes. Before the invention of quick cooking equipment, the dish was slow cooked but modern day chefs are able to infuse the same taste and aroma in braised endives in much less time with the help of electric ovens.
The endives to be braised are first cleaned and then, placed on a baking dish. Other ingredients are also placed on the dish and then cooked over a stove for about 20 minutes. Here, the ingredients are simmered gently. Then, the dish is placed in the oven and the endive is cooked in its own juices. The vegetable is basted with juices frequently. Any additional ingredients being used (if any) are placed on the baking dish, with the endives, before cooking on the stove.
Braised Endives Trivia
A braised endive, in addition to being a popular meal by itself, is also sometimes used as an ingredient in salads and as a side dish with roasted meats. The braised variant is preferred over a raw endive as the former has more taste.