Braising endive tones down its bitterness and brings out a bit of natural sweetness, while also making it tender. Crisp bacon brings salt and crunch, and the grainy Dijon mustard sauce is silky, buttery, and bright with lemon, garlic, and fresh thyme. This makes a great side dish for roast chicken, salmon, or pork, but can also be topped with a poached egg for a lovely and unexpected breakfast or brunch. For more delicious Dutch dishes, try this Dutch Applesauce Raisin Cake recipe and this Savory Cheese Cookies recipe.
- 4 slices bacon, trimmed into lardons
- 4–6 Belgian endives, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 2 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken stock
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 1 thyme sprig
- 1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons cold butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large frying pan over medium heat, sauté bacon for about 6 minutes, until crisp and most of the fat has rendered out, stirring frequently. Remove cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, and set aside. Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.
- Nestle endive halves in pan, cut-side down, and cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes, until crisp and golden, with the occasional charred bit. Gently turn over, cut-side up.
- Add chicken stock, garlic clove, and thyme. Cover pan and cook for 10 minutes.
- Gently remove endives from pan and lay out on a serving dish. Remove thyme sprig and garlic clove and discard.
- Turn heat up to medium-high. Whisk in mustard and lemon juice. Cook for about 1 minute, then, 1 tablespoon at a time, add butter, whisking constantly until it has melted into the sauce. Return bacon to pan. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Pour sauce over endives.