Monday, December 21, 2009

Baked Salad, Better than You Think.

Have I ever mentioned the fact that I get a CSA box thingie at home, from Årstiderne? I have? Well, I'm still getting it, despite the fact that it's pretty predictable, since Autumn and Winter rolled around, and the pickings got slimmer and slimmer. We're pretty much down to turnips, potatoes, kale, white cabbage, jerusalem artichokes if we're lucky....*sob*. It's pretty boring. A few weeks in a row now, they've thrown in some endive, which is fitting, since in Denmark they call it julesalat aka "Christmas salad". It sat there in the fridge for a spell, while I looked at it, scratched my head, and wondered how the hell I was going to get my kids to eat it. As a kid I saw my dad chomp on the stuff raw, but I never saw it consumed any other way.

*Cut to 25 years later, enter Belgium*

Turns out, in Belgium (which you can read about on the innernets), they bake it. With cheese. Sign me up!

The rundown is this:

- Slice your endive lengthwise, remove damaged outer leaves, cut off knobby bit at bottom.
- Steam gently for app. 10 minutes.
- Prepare a small amount of Bechamel sauce, adding a handful of grated parmesan here, and a handful of grated gruyère there, stirring until well incorporated.
- Arrange the steamed endive in am oven-proof dish,
- If you want to get crazy, wrap the endive in slices of ham, parma or serrano would be nice, but the Belgians use thick slices of boiled ham, which just ain't my style. No ham is just as nice though, if you're a veggie.
- Pour the cheesy Bechamel sauce over your endive, and throw some more grated cheese on top.
- Bake on medium/high until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

I swear, my 2 yr. old couldn't get enough! My husband thought baked salad was a bit much, but truly, it was delicious.

Another version to try out is to add slices of chorizo on top, instead of ham, and add cheddar to the sauce, instead of parmesan/gruyère. A little on the Tex-Mexy side, but not bad, not bad at all.

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