As someone born in the mid-1970s, I lived through the heyday of Roquefort endives, which were served bathed in a sauce made with cream, Roquefort, or another blue cheese, and topped with chopped walnuts. and pepper. This invention – which my mother often made for dinner on winter Saturdays, accompanied by a platter of roasted potatoes and artichokes – horrified me because a) until I was about 14 years old, I didn’t know how to appreciate blue cheese and b) it also took me a while to appreciate the bitterness of endives (I take this opportunity to apologize to my mother for having expressed to her as a child and let’s say without much filters how little I liked which for her was a delight).
This version 2.0 of this dish is wickedly copied from the one prepared by Albert Cambra, chef of La Vinoteca de Can Calopa, during a winter salad workshop that we shared last December during the Prat Poultry Fair. He made it with Blau de Jutglar cheese from the highly recommended artisanal cheese dairy in Reixagó, which he simply flattened with a fork and mixed with Rasim Vi Madur de l’Olivera wine. It was delicious the way he did, but for my version I wanted a creamier sauce that reminded me of the original, so I chose to use gorgonzola. If you’re using one with a stronger flavor, reduce the amount, as it may be too strong a sauce; If what you find excessive is the wine, decrease the quantity and add a little water so that it emulsifies and there are no lumps.
The light syrup made from the candied orange peel can be used to sweeten a tea, lemonade, or any other liquid that works well with a light orange flavor. It can also be reduced a little more, mixed with a little of the remaining orange juice squeezed with the hands – and, possibly, a little alcohol – and make a drunken sponge cake. You can swap the nuts for your favorite dried fruit, but now I love the nut, blue cheese, and endive combo as much as my mom, so I stick to it without thinking.
Getting the orange out of the segments is the most complicated.
For 4 people (as an aperitif or as a starter)
- 2 chicory
- 125g gorgonzola
- Between 75 and 100 ml of sweet wine
- 1 orange
- a handful of nuts
- 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
- freshly ground pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Take four strips of orange zest -without the white part- and make thin strips about two centimeters long.
- Bring to the boil in a small saucepan 150 ml of water with the sugar or honey and, when boiling, add the strips of orange peel. Let them marinate slightly for three or four minutes and remove them with a slotted spoon.
- Peel the orange to the quick and cut each segment into four or five pieces.
- Prepare the sauce by mixing the gorgonzola and the sweet wine: start with 75 ml of wine, taste it and adjust to taste by adding more wine if necessary.
- Cut the base of the and remove the outer leaves that are broken. Separate the leaves and spread them on a platter or several plates. Spread the sauce over it, then the orange and its candied peel and finish with the walnuts, a good drizzle of oil, salt and pepper.
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