The not so humble Endive and how it allows you to nibble without the carbs or gluten if that is a concern. Just slice off the flat side and gently separate the leaves. Then place them in cold (icy!) water with a drop of lemon juice to keep them white and crispy until ready to be filled with something yummy, like this lemon and onion combo that I adapted from a recipe I saw on saw on www.elizabethminchilli.com a few years back. You will need 1/2 white onion (or red onion or two large shallots or 5 scallions depending on what you have or where your preference lies, I have used them all), a lemon, a pinch of red pepper flakes (or more depending on your tolerance for heat), flaky or kosher salt, olive oil and mint. Dice the onion. Make the dice as small as your knife skills allow. You can also pulse the onion in a food processor but don’t pulse too long, you don’t want mush. Mush is bad. After cutting the onion, place it into cold water to rinse the bitterness and then drain well. While the onions are draining, slice a lemon in half from pole to pole (top to bottom). Place the cut side down on a cutting surface and slice off the ends. Cut paper thin half moon slices from each half and cut those slices into thirds as shown below. You will have a pile of little lemon pieces. Combine the lemon and onion together with salt and pepper flakes to taste and olive oil. Chopped jalapeno pepper can be substituted for the flakes if you prefer. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for about 1/2 hour. The onions can be chopped ahead of time as can the lemon, just store each in a separate container until ready to combine, about at least 1/2 hour before serving. The curing in the salt tenderizes the lemon rind. When ready to serve, add mint. Taste for seasoning and spoon a bit into your chilled and drained endive cups. It is refreshing and unusual. Perfect for cocktail hour (think cold cold martinis). If you have any leftovers, toss with pasta for an easy summer dinner.

 

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