Vegetarian Recipe: Endive Gratin with Herbed Breadcrumbs and Late Harvest Tomatoes

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Today on Good Food Laura Avery talks to Kajsa Alger, the executive chef and co-owner of Susan Feniger’s Street.  For her All-Vegetarian dinner on Tuesday, October 11th, Kajsa is serving her Endive Gratin with Herbed Breadcrumbs and Late Harvest Tomatoes.  Kajsa smokes the cream (or potatoes in the vegan version) over wood coals in a double boiler.  Keep reading to see the recipe and her interesting technique for smoking the cream.

Endive Gratin with Herbed Breadcrumbs and Late Harvest Tomatoes

10 heads Belgian Endive
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped parsley
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup + 1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 large Heirloom Tomatoes
1 1/2 Tbl Kosher salt, or to taste
2 cups wood smoking chips (mesquite), soaked in warm water for at least 1 hour

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place the heavy cream in a bowl.  Set the bowl in a perforated double boiler.
Drain the wood chips and put them in the bottom compartment of the double boiler.

Cover the entire pot top tightly with aluminum foil so that it is sealed shut.

Turn the stove on medium heat until the wood chips start to smoke heavily.  Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.  Repeat.  Uncover and add the 1 1/2 Tbl salt. Stire and set aside.
Separately, thinly slice the endive lengthwise.  Saute in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil until golden brown.

Spread out in a lightly greased casserole dish and alternate layering with the cheese.

Pour the smoked cream over the top and press lightly so that the endive is submerged.

Mix the breadcrumb, parsley, 1/4 cup of the olive oil and lemon zest with a pinch of salt to taste.  Top the gratin and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
Remove from heat.

Cut the tomatoes into wedges and toss with the remaining olive oil, vinegar, and salt to taste.  Pour over the top of the gratin and serve immediately.

* For our vegan version we make a mashed potato with 4 potatoes, 2 cups of plain (unsweetened) soymilk and salt.  We smoke it in place of the heavy cream in this recipe and layer it with the endive and cheese.   We substitute Daiya (vegan cheese) for the Gruyere.
The rest of the recipe remains the same.