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Simple Farmstyle Belgian Endive With Bacon and Blue Cheese

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“There's no pretention here: it's simply a quick way to prepare endives/witlof/chicory so it can be be presented as a side dish. It could be a starter, but mine simply was not smart enough to dish up as a starter. The endives won't be limp in this recipe, but still a little crunchy, depending on their size. They do shrink somewhat while baking. If you want them more tender, bake for longer, but cover loosely with foil. Ideal with a simple chicken dish, and its earthy saltiness is complemented by another side dish which is slightly sweet, like butternut or sweet potatoes.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Set oven at 325 deg F/ 160 deg Celsius.
  2. Thinly slice off the discoloured end of the endives.
  3. Cut each endive in two, lengthwise. If any leaves fall away, gather them and use them when wrapping in the bacon strips.
  4. Season each endive half well with ground nutmeg and white pepper. It is fine just to season the cut halves, because they fall apart easily when handled.
  5. Wrap each halved endive in one or two slices of bacon with a fatty rind -- you need that. Depending on the width of your bacon you might need only 1 slice. I used "back bacon", which has a lean part with a fatty edge.
  6. Put the bacon-wrapped endive halves in an oven dish, and spoon in the balsamic vinegar.
  7. Drizzle each wrapped half with drops of olive oil, and put a piece of foil loosely over the dish.
  8. Put in the pre-heated oven. After 15 mins remove the foil and bake another 30 minutes.
  9. While they're baking roughly crumble the blue cheese in chunks.
  10. Take the dish from the oven, divide the crumbled blue cheese among the 6 endive halves, and bake another 5 minutes or until the cheese starts collapsing and melting.
  11. Serve as a side dish with a simple chicken dish, a carb like basmati rice, and some sweetish veggie like butternut or sweet potatoes. The sweetish side dish complements the salty endives.
  12. The endives will still be slightly crunchy.

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