Chicory is a very popular vegetable across the channel, but in Britain it is hardly
ever seen on restaurant menus. It is a pity, because, as with this recipe, Chicory is
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour and 15 minutes
12 small to medium chicory heads, centre core removed
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200g mixed mushrooms (your choice of mushrooms)
1 tbsp thyme finely chopped
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
50g fresh breadcrumbs
maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 slices of prosciutto
200ml dry white wine
400ml double cream
250g gouda, grated
1-2 tbsp parmesan, grated (optional)
Chicory: Preheat an oven to 180°C. Place the chicory in a greased
oven proof container, add the water and a little salt. Cover the chicory with
greased foil and place it on the centre shelf in the oven. Cook the chicory for 20
minutes then remove it from the oven and cooking vessel and allow them to
Farce: Place the butter in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the
garlic and mushrooms to pan and cook them gently for 3-5 minutes until tender.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the thyme, parsley, breadcrumbs and
seasoning. Mix the stuffing until well distributed and the bread has absorbed the
butter. Set the stuffing aside to cool.
To Stuff: Slice the cooled chicory in half and remove a few of the
centre leaves from each side to allow for the stuffing. Fill the 1 half of each
chicory firmly with 1-2 tbsp of the farce (dependent on size). Place the other half
of the chicory over the filled side so that the farce is sealed in. Wrap each of the
stuffed chicory with a slice of prosciutto. Set aside until ready to cook.
Gratin: Preheat an oven to Place the stuffed chicory in a gratin
container or a similar ovenproof container. The chicory should fit snugly. Pour the
white wine and then the cream over the chicory, and scatter over the grated gouda
and parmesan (if using) over the chicory. Place pinches of the butter over the
gratin and place it on the centre shelf of the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes. The
cheese should be melted and lightly golden when ready.
To Serve: Sprinkle finely chopped parsley over the gratin and
serve. The gratin is good on its own as a starter or for lunch or a light supper. It
also makes a great accompaniment to veal and chicken dishes.