Endive has the perfect amount of bite, bitterness and crunch to stand up to the other ingredients in chef Alex Raij's Basque gratin. In true Basque fashion, the endive is smothered in mayonnaise before being topped with blue cheese from the region. It's the perfect balance of richness and crispness.
We love the mixture of red and yellow endive Raij uses in the dish for a bright contrast of colors, but feel free to use one or the other. Raij does emphasize the importance of Bleu des Basques cheese, which is nice and sharp. You can find it in most cheese shops, but if you can't, try substituting a bleu d'Auvergne.
To learn more, read "Baby Got Basque."
Belgian Endive and Blue Cheese Gratin
Recipe adapted from 'The Basque Book,' by Alex Raij and Eder Montero
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
4 medium (14 ounces) Belgian endive, halved
Kosher salt, to taste
1½ cups mayonnaise
1 cup (8 ounces) Bleu des Basques cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon marjoram leaves
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Chopped parsley, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 450°. In a large baking dish, arrange the endive halves in a single layer and season with salt. Spread the mayonnaise over the endive in an even layer, then scatter the cheese over the top. Sprinkle with pepper flakes and marjoram leaves.
2. Bake until the endive are tender and the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with the lemon juice and chopped parsley, then serve.
*This article was originally published on 03/28/2016 by Tasting Table editors. The restaurant, chef and/or recipe are in no way affiliated with or endorsing the featured sponsor.