Baked Endive with Anchovies and Thyme
About 2 cups packed torn sourdough (or ciabatta) bread pieces
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 white or red (or a combination of the two) heads of endive, root ends trimmed off, and sliced lengthwise in half
1 tbsp butter, preferably organic and pastured
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, plus a few sprigs for scattering over the finished dish
Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish (optional)
About 10 (feel free to use a few more if they are very small and you love them) anchovy fillets (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
*Fresh lemon juice, for serving
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, toss bread pieces with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread out onto a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes, or until "semi-crisp". Remove from the oven and set aside, but leave the oven on.
2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the endive halves, turn the heat to high, and cook, turning occasionally, until the endives are slightly browned on all sides. Add 1/3 cup water to the pan along with the butter, and cook for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced by half.
3. Tuck the anchovies around the endive halves and scatter the thyme leaves and the parsley over the top, along with the breadcrumbs. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the top, season with salt (if using the anchovies, I wouldn't add much, if any) and pepper, and transfer the skillet to the hot oven. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the endive is very tender when pierced with a fork. Add more fresh pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and garnish with additional thyme and fresh parsley before serving, if desired.
Winnie Abramson is one of five food bloggers associated with our OnDiva ambassadorship. She is the writer and recipe developer behind the food blog, Healthy Green Kitchen.