Gratinated Chicory with Lentil Puree

Today we have vegetarian again. Chicory has been on the list for a long time, but somehow the vegetable hidden under purple paper in the supermarket always fails to attract attention. This time, however, it doesn’t escape. I want something other than ham wrapped around it or drowned in roux, so I experiment a bit with the topping. In my mind, the lentils should take away some of the bitterness and create a rounded whole - and they do. But first there is the preparation.

I saute 3 spring onions in rings and 2 tablespoons almond flakes in a little olive oil. To this I add a grated clove of garlic. After a while I add 100 g red lentils and about a quarter liter of vegetable broth with 1 tsp paprika powder and a little salt. The vegetables are now simmering away.

Now it’s the chicory’s turn. I caramelize a little sugar, 2 tsp maybe, in some melted butter over high heat and then put in the halves of two chicory stalks, cut side down. They now fry for about 3-4 minutes, so that the underside is browned.

At the same time, in a second pan, I toast a handful of fine oatmeal with a little olive oil and salt. Be careful, they burn quickly! Out with them and let cool. A mini scamorza is finely grated, this gives the smoky flavor instead of the bacon. Together with the oatmeal, a few thyme leaves and a good dollop of cream, I stir together a compact filling. This goes on top of the chicory halves, which I then bake on the tray in an oven preheated to 200°. This takes about 15 minutes. Towards the end of this time, the lentils are also cooked, I puree them with a magic wand and now add salt.

Quickly a few spring onion rings and the evening dish is ready. As planned, the bitterness of the chicory and the rather velvety taste of the lentils complement each other perfectly.

Quantities for one person.

chicory halves , crusted woth oat and cheese, with lentil mash *** Translated with (free version) ***


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