Caramelised Endive with Richmond Red Cheese & Akaroa Smoked Salmon
I was cooking at Saffron late one evening when two English guys, complete strangers, approached the pass to extend their regards. We began to have a chat. By the way they spoke of food it was easy enough to see that they worked in hospitality, and it turned out that Peter Gordon had suggested they drop in for dinner if they were in the area. Then I discovered that I was talking to Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi, who are the chefs and owners of the famous Notting Hill restaurant Ottolenghi. Amazingly, I’d eaten there (and not for the first time) just a few months earlier, although I’d not met them or seen them there. It was one of life’s endless coincidences. I love their restaurant’s unique formula: the huge selection of food is laid out buffet-style with incredible taste — it’s very chic — and their window pâtisserie display has few equals.
I was inspired to make this dish after eating something very similar at one of the Ottolenghi restaurants in London a couple of years ago. The dish there was finished with a good Serrano ham, though I find it equally good with New Zealand salmon.
Taste of Central Otago: More Recipes from Arrowtown's Saffron by Pete Gawron, published by Random House NZ.
- 50 g sourdough breadcrumbs
- 100 ml cream
- 1 tbsp finely chopped dill
- 1 tbsp finely chopped chervil
- a few turns of the pepper mill
- sea salt to taste
- 50 g grated Parmesan
- 80 g Red Richmond cheese, finely diced
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 40 g caster sugar
- 3 whole endives, cut in half lengthways
- 6 slices smoked salmon
- a little extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Combine the breadcrumbs, cream, dill, chervil, pepper and salt, and the cheeses.
Heat a large frying pan, add the butter and, as soon as it begins to froth, add the sugar. Stir for a moment, then add the endive halves, cut side down. Leave for three or four minutes. Place onto a tray, cooked side up, sprinkle with the cheese topping and place in the oven. Roast for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and drape a slice of salmon over each piece of endive. Drizzle with a little olive oil, return to the oven for a further five minutes and serve.