Belgian endive was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians and today is particularly popular in Belgium and France. Part of the chicory family, endive has a crunchy texture and subtle taste. Here, it’s paired with spring vegetables and a dash of bright citrus.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma
VARIATIONS: You can substitute English peas for the fava beans, or grilled fennel for the endive. You can also use a broiler instead of a grill to cook the vegetables; just keep a close watch to avoid overcooking them.
SERVING SUGGESTION: This dish would make a great side for grilled fish or meat. Pair it with a crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
- 3 pounds fava beans, outer pods removed
- 1 pound slender asparagus, ends trimmed
- 2 heads Belgian endive, sliced lengthwise 1/8 inch thick
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 orange
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 Bring a pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water. Add the shucked fava beans to the boiling water and boil for 1 minute. Drain and transfer to the bowl of ice water. When the beans are cool, use your fingers to peel off the skins. Set aside.
- 2 Prepare a hot fire in a grill and oil the grill rack.
- 3 Arrange the asparagus and endive on the grill, making sure they are perpendicular to the grate bars and don't fall through the grate. (Alternatively, use a grill screen.) Grill, turning occasionally, until they are evenly charred, 2 to 3 minutes total. Arrange on a serving platter and season well with salt and pepper.
- 4 Using a zester, zest the orange over a bowl. Peel and segment the orange, allowing the segments and any juices to fall into the bowl. Add the olive oil and, using a fork, break up the orange segments into bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
- 5 Scatter the fava beans and mint on top of the grilled vegetables. Drizzle with the orange dressing and serve immediately.