Caramelised endive tart

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

As with other members of the family, when endive is cooked it changes its character, making it a versatile little vegetable. It makes a great side dish, or a starter with all sorts of other flavours from oranges to anchovies. We don't take enough advantage of it, really. If only greengrocers and supermarkets gave out recipe cards with veg that we are not quite sure what to do with, it would help us make the most of the more unusual ones.

As with other members of the family, when endive is cooked it changes its character, making it a versatile little vegetable. It makes a great side dish, or a starter with all sorts of other flavours from oranges to anchovies. We don't take enough advantage of it, really. If only greengrocers and supermarkets gave out recipe cards with veg that we are not quite sure what to do with, it would help us make the most of the more unusual ones.

200g puff pastry, rolled to 1/3cm thick
6-8 heads of Belgian endive, depending on size
60g butter
50ml orange juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the puff pastry into either a 12cm x 24cm rectangle, a 24cm circle, or four 12cm circles. Prick them all over with a fork and leave to rest in the fridge. Remove the root from the endive and any discoloured outer leaves then separate all the leaves. Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan, add the endive leaves, season and cover with a lid. Cook on a low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring every so often until the leaves begin to wilt. Then add the orange juice and continue cooking for about 15 minutes, stirring every so often until the leaves have really softened. Remove the lid and continue cooking until there is no liquid left in the pan.

Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 200°C/ gas mark 6. Cook the pastry for 5 minutes then turn over and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and spoon the endive evenly over the pastry to the sides. Return to the oven for 10 minutes then remove and serve hot.

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