Chicory, Blue Cheese and Sultana Gratin

11:27 pm on 3 November 2006

(Serves 4 as a side dish)

Ingredients

  • 4 chicory bulbs, trimmed of any discoloured leaves and halved lengthways
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 100 gms butter
  • 1 lge white onion, diced
  • 100 gms sultanas
  • 5 tbsp cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 125 mls double cream
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 100 gms blue cheese, crumbled

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Lay the chicory on a chopping board and sprinkle with the sugar.

Heat a wide pan and add half the butter. Once it is sizzling, add the onion and cook over a high heat until it's caramelised, then add the sultanas. Cook for a minute or so, stirring frequently, until the sultanas swell a little.

Add the vinegar and salt and continue to cook until the vinegar has evaporated, stirring continuously. Tip into a two-litre ceramic roasting dish or a similar dish that won't react with the vinegar.

Place the pan back on the heat and add the remaining butter. When it’s sizzling, place the chicory in, cut side down, and cook over a moderate heat until it turns golden.

Take the pan off the heat and sit the chicory on top of the onions, cut side up.

Put the cream, water and the cheese in the pan and bring to the boil, then pour the mixture over the chicory.

Seal the dish tightly with foil, place in the centre of the oven and bake for 35 minutes.

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