Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Chicory the perfect companion

Chicory or Endive are originally from  Europe and now are  in season, just when we start to thinking in the summer ahead chicory is in the right moment for start to make the changes that we need in our diet,  from stew to salads. I think one of the reason why chicory still popular in the supermarket chain is because the compressed shape of his leaves and are available in two colors, the dream of any supermarket manager. So I decided bring to you a bunch of salad recipes that include Jaime Oliver and Gordon Ramsay; a more French style salad because the endive are very close related with the French cuisine and to end another salad with cheeses that usually my aunt make in the winter family reunions like a canapé also present in her nutritional book.  In fact the little bitterness of those leaves go very well with rich cheeses like blue ones.  Chicory as well has been used like a substitute of the coffee, so why not try start the day with this very awakening juice.

Chicory salad with Mimolette cheese.
Serves 6. Timing  15 min. Kcal 170

Mimolette cheese by pinprick's

1 lettuce (lamb or frisée)                              1 tbsp cider vinegar
3 read chicory heads (leaves separate)         1 tsp Dijon mustard
100g mimolette cheese (in stripes)               1 tsp caster sugar
50g walnuts (finely crushed)                        Salt and pepper
                                                                  3 tbsp walnut oil
                                                                  4 tbsp Groundnut oil

1.       Place the leaves of chicory and lettuce in a bowl and add the mimolette and the crushed walnut.
2.       In a little bowl mix the vinegar, mustard and sugar and pinch of salt and pepper, then add the oils and whisk  very well. Taste your seasoning.
3.       Pour the vinaigrette over the salad bowl and serve!

Roast Quail with Endives by Gordon Ramsay.
Serves4. Timing 35 min.  Really nice salad but watch out 530kcl!
2 oven ready quails.                                         2 tbsp white wine vinegar
6 thyme sprigs                                                  ½ tsp Dijon mustard
20g hot melted butter                                       5 tbsp Walnut oil
2 chicory (white and red leaves separates)        2 tbsp olive oil
14 small basil leaves
50g walnuts.
Oven 200ºC

  1. We need start cooking the quails, first filling the quails cavities with the thyme.
  2. In a hot frying pan with a 2 tbsp olive oil brown the quail breast side down for 3 minutes pressing down onto the pan to get the best color possible. Now turn over and cook for another 2 minutes and basting a few of the hot butter over the bird.
  3. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 5 to 8 minutes. Remove and let to cool.
  4. Put the chicory (big leaves cut into quarters) walnut and basil in a big bowl.
  5. For the dressing mix all the ingredients in a little bowl and whisk together very well, add some salt and pepper for seasoning. Pour over the bowl with the chicory.
  6. Remove the breast from the birds and then slices them.
  7. Serve the salad in the plates with the quail slices on top. 
 Quick Chicory salad with a really tasty dressing by Jaime Oliver.
Serves 4. Timing 20min. 
4 chicory (white and red leaves separates)   8 big basil leaves  
8 little basil leaves                                        1 garlic clove (peeled)
2 tbsp capers (drained)                                3 tbsp olive oil
                                                           ½ tin of anchovies in olive oil
                                                                   1 tsp Dijon mustard
                                                                   2 tbsp natural yoghurt
                                                                   3 tbsp red wine vinegar

  1. Arrange the chicory and basil leaves in a big salad bowl or already in a big salad dish.
  2. In a liquidizer mix all the vinaigrette ingredients and whiz them. Take a taste, season with a few salt and pepper and add a splash of water, whiz again.
  3. Put a tbsp. of olive oil in a hot pan, add the capers for 2 min.
  4. Sprinkle the capers over the chicory leaves and drizzle with your salad dressing. Ready to enjoy.  
Cheese chicory canapés.
Endives by coses de pac's
50g blue cheese. 200g cream cheese. 100g brie cheese.
1 tbsp of diced salad onion (very finely)
10 green olives5 black olives (diced very finely)
4 white chicory (leaves separated)
50g walnut.
1 tbsp vinegar

1.    In a big bowl with half of cold water add the vinegar and chicory leaves. Left them rest for 5 minutes. 
2.    Rinse the leaves in rinse water and drain in a colander.
3.    In another bowl mix all the cheeses very well, using a whisker or a fork
4.    Add the diced black olives and salad onion to the cheese mix and season with pepper
5.    In a serving dish arrange the chicory leaves and fill with the cheese mix and top ones with the green olives and another with a piece of walnuts.
6.    Before serving refridgerate them for at least half an hour.


Sunday, 27 February 2011


naranjos al atardecer
Photo by silviaN's

Lemons and oranges have very similar history, their origin is not exact but most probably the y came from china or South East Asia, both even they are an ancient fruits they are really hybrids, lemon  is a genetic combination of sour orange and citron and the oranges is another hybrid from grapefruit and mandarin. Early the lemon was attributed with curative properties and the Chinese consider that have an orange trees bring you luck. Step by step these two citrus starts to be more popular in Europe, first introduced for the roman troops, then for Arabs in the Mediterranean (Seville orange) and finely in the middle ages for sailors to Genova and Portuguese to iberic peninsula. And then lemon and oranges went to conquest the Americas where actually are concentrated the bigger production countries.
Well now will have the opportunity to rejoin the 2 citrus with another famous South East Asia source of food. Lemon Chicken or Chicken with oranges is the question. (Click in the links for see the recipes)