ffwd: endives, apples, & grapes

This week’s selected recipe for French Fridays with Dorie epitomizes why I joined this cooking group. Every week, I learn something new. Some weeks, it’s a new technique, some weeks, it’s a new twist on a familiar recipe, and some weeks, like this week, it’s a new combination of ingredients. Some weeks, what I learn is something I incorporate into my kitchen life, and some weeks, what I learn doesn’t make the cut.

What about this week? I’ll admit that on paper, the recipe was uninspiring. Endives, are OK in salad, but eating them cooked, caramelized, no less, with fruit, seemed downright weird. I gave it a try. Endives, apples, grapes, rosemary braised in butter. The ingredients sit on the stove to caramelize, get flipped over, and the same is repeated on the other side. It really couldn’t have been easier.

I used a seasoned cast-iron pan to do the work. I didn’t have the recommended salted butter, so used unsalted with a generous sprinkle of sea salt in the pan. My endive didn’t caramelize after 20 minutes, but I flipped it anyway. The second side did a bit better during its turn. I did flip the endive back over one more time, and let it sit while I finished preparing the rest of dinner, and it browned a bit more.

What about the flavors? Much to my surprise, it has promise. On the plus side, I liked the texture of the cooked endive. The caramelization and light fruit juices offset its usual bitterness. The grapes were the star of the show. They caramelized, they softened, they were delicious!

As for what needs improvement, the apple (I used a Fuji) didn’t really soften (the opposite problem I had with the poached apples a few weeks ago). I’m thinking smaller pieces would have worked better, maybe eighths instead of quarters. Also, the rosemary didn’t seem to impart any flavor to the dish. It was quite aromatic when I put it in the skillet, so I’m not sure why I couldn’t taste it.

Conclusion? I liked it much more than I thought it would. Chalk one up for FFwD as I never would have tried this recipe otherwise. As we move into to the season of heartier vegetables, I can see trying this again with a medley of other vegetables, like the winter squash suggested in Dorie’s bonne idée, Brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips. The list could go on. I might drop the apple, but the grapes are definitely a keeper.

We don’t publish the recipes for this cooking group, but Dorie already shared the recipe on Bon Appetit. You can also find it in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.

For other bloggers’ take on this unusual recipe, check out their links here.

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Posted on 28 September 2012, in Autumn, French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. You sound exactly like me.. first thought were, ‘Weird combo” and I also was pleasantly surprised.

  2. I so agree, these are the kinds of recipes which make me happy that I joined this group. This one sounded completely bizarre, and instead I learned a new technique and ended up loving the recipe. I will definitely be trying her Bonne Idee with squash, it just sounds delicious.

  3. I felt the same way about the endive and grapes that you did…surprisingly addicting. My rosemary did perfume things nicely and I was surprised that I liked it with the apples, but I did! I used Gala apples and they seemed to soften nicely but not go to mush. All in all, a wonderful find, wasn’t it…lends itself to lots of interpretations which is nice as well! It all looks so lovely in your pan.

  4. I agree, the grapes were the star of this dish. This recipe to me was a hidden gem. I do not think I would have made it if is wasn’t for FFWD. Your pictures are Lovely . I hope you have a nice weekend.

  5. This was a surprise wasn’t it? Its surprising the different experiences people had with different apple types. I did the squash and chestnut version and highly recommend it!

  6. This one really seems to be getting mixed reviews. I actually really like it. I agree, though, the apple would have been better in smaller pieces.

  7. I LOVED this! Glad you tried it and were surprised!

  8. Grapes absolutely WERE the star of this show! I’m gonna add a lot more next time, that is for sure!

  9. Looks great! I loved the apples and the grapes. I used Gala apples, and they cooked up beautifully. I wasn’t crazy about the endive, but it was at least edible. And I’m with you on the rosemary — it smelled great, but I couldn’t really taste it in the finished dish. I thought about putting it in with the butter at the beginning so it would flavor it before the other ingredients go in.

  10. We loved it. I think pairing this with many types of winter veggies would be a nice
    addition to any meal. Your vegetables look perfect. Have a great weekend.

  11. I like this combination of ingredients too! I used a Fuji apple too and it didn’t really soften as quickly as the endives and grapes, I had to cook it longer. Next time I will cut my apple in thinner slices, for sure! Have a wonderful weekend;-)

  12. thekitchenlioness

    Betsy, sounds and looks like you did enjoy this intriguing recipe – we love endives, no matter which way they are prepared…it all looks wonderfully caramelized to me!

    Have a good weekend!

  13. I loved the grapes and apples! I will try it again with squash!!! have a great weekend!!

  14. Betsy, This was something I was looking forward to trying…yet wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the endive! It was such a lovely surprise to really enjoy this dish…I’m so looking forward to trying it with the squash! Your dish looks wonderful!

  15. I totally agree – never would have made this but I’m so glad I did. If I ever can find endives I’ll try it with them but as of now I would definitely recommend the squash version! :)

  16. Yep – this is definitely not one I would have tried on my own. I am curious how the squash version would work…

  17. You asked about how I bake pork chops….I just brown them in a little oil on the stove top and then bake at 375 for 10 to 30 minutes depending on how thick they are. Sometimes I use panko bread crumbs and garlic powder. One of our favorite ways is to sprinkle with Cavender’s and no breading. They come out delicious and juicy!

  18. golden delicious worked well for me in this dish. they hold their shape but get tender in most cooking applications. yes, this turned out better than I imagined too!

  19. I agree, I love how this group encourages me to be open to new things and I am always surprised by things I would never have given a chance before!

  20. I loved trying the endives, although I didnt like the dish in the end- but the grapes and the apples, oh my! ;) Great job!

  21. I found that the pan juices got most of the rosemary, so I took Dorie’s suggestion and made a little sauce from them and it seemed to work pretty well. I used an enormous apple (it’s what I had on hand), which took longer than the rest to cook. Next time, small apples or smaller pieces.

  22. It seems that all of us that used Fuji apples had trouble with them not cooking through. I agree that one of my favorite things about FFWD is trying recipes and foods I wouldn’t otherwise, and this recipe definitely fits that category.

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