Chicory and Ham Gratin

Image of finished dish

There’s sometimes a bit of confusion over endives and chicory. In this case I’m referring to the pale yellow and and white torpedoes that are the blanched buds of the Common or Belgian Chicory, not to the curly, frisée-style salad leaf.

You can braise the chicory in the old-fashioned full-fat way, in melted butter and lemon juice, or you can blanch or steam them before draining thoroughly on a clean tea towel.

Either way you then wrap each chicon in a slice of ham and bake them in a cheesy béchamel sauce scattered with a handful of breadcrumbs – pure heaven on a cold winter’s night. Continue reading

Cod Loin with Preserved Lemon

Image of cod loin with preserved lemon crustThis is a North African-influenced version of the cod loin with a tapenade crust I talked about a couple of months ago.

Again, it makes for a quick and easy supper and the flavours are really zingy – just right for giving your palate a tickle on an autumn evening. Continue reading

Another Quick Weekday Supper

Image of a decorative tin of Puy lentils on a shelfI first ate this dish as a starter at Le Bistroquet in Troyes, France, a restaurant with a relaxed and generous attitude to food and, sadly, since closed.

When my husband ordered pâté, the waiter brought him the entire terrine, a jar of gherkins and a basket of bread and left him to get on with it.

My Puy lentils came piled high in a bowl and topped with a poached egg and crispy bacon. Continue reading