Friday, July 20, 2007

Witlof


If I had to pick a favourite vegetable it might just be witlof.

Those bitter, medicinal leaves are transformed when slivered and butter-braised with a spoonful of organic cream, a handful of plump raisins and crushed garlic.

Freshly picked lemons, still wet from the rain, long, thin strips of their zest to be quickly deep-fried as a garnish.

For pappardelle (much easier to make than I thought).

But fennel, well, she's my still real favourite.


15 comments:

Susan said...

I've not made pasta yet outside of one disastrous gnocchi attempt a few years back. I'm encouraged by your success and the box of semolina I bought some weeks ago. Lemon sounds luscious with it.

Lucy said...

Susan, gnocchi really are hard to get right - always seem to disintegrate into their poaching liquid!

Pasta worked out well, much better than I had hoped, hand cut and mis-shappen though those first, wide strands were. The sauce is lemony, creamy and sweet with just a hint of bitter.

Rosa said...

Lucy, this sounds gorgeous! And your lemons are beautiful - lucky you to have them in the garden.

Johanna said...

I am encouraged by your love of vegetables I don't really use so much - witlof and fennel don't really inspire me until I read your lovely descriptions of the meals you make with them!

Maninas: Food Matters said...

This sounds intersting!

shula said...

It's called witlof?

The things I learn from you, Lucy.

Still getting my head round deep fried lemon zest.

You're amazing.

Christina said...

I feel like a moron, but I don't know what witlof is. Is it a chicory?

I like the bitter/tangy combination that this meal promises.

Rose said...

This vegetable looks like endives.Your lemon look so gorgeous. Lucky Lucy.

Figs Olives Wine said...

Oh how heavenly! With cream and fried lemon zest? I can't think of anything better. How glorious to bring lemon in off the tree and cook it immediately.

Wendy said...

"Medicinal" you say? In what way? I like to know these things. :)
Love endive (that's what we call them up here) and apple with a mustardy dressing. It's a solitary treat though. Have found many people don't like the sharpness of it.

Lucy said...

There's a real 'glut' of lemons on the tree at the moment, Rosa. I am lucky - will be sad when we eventually move on to the next home!

Johanna, I love them but know why they seem less than exciting. But I could eat both raw and completely unadorned.

Thanks Maninas - it works really well.

Shula the zest was easy, but actually a bit over the top. Still, it was all nibbled away, mostly before the meal was ready...

Don't worry Christina, it goes by all sorts of names; Belgian Endive, Endive, Chicory...all the same thing. Probably has a myriad of other names too!

I am lucky Amanda - got very wet in the processof picking though. The tree was heavy with rain and so was I!

I guess it's got a bitterness that, as you say Wendy, is a solitary one. I equate bitterness with that little shiver you get when you drink some bitter, herbal concoction that the naturopath makes. But it's a bitterness that I crave, like fennel. Your salad sounds great - would happily share it with you!

Truffle said...

I love the vibrant colours. Warms up a wintery day :) It's been wonderful catching up on your beautiful photos and words.

Nora B. said...

Hi Lucy, I've never thought of deep-frying lemon peel as garnish. Cool idea.

Lucy said...

Ah, Truffle, you're home. Good trip? It's been cold in your absence, but I hear that it's been freezing in Europe too. Hope you had fun.

It's great Nora - and incredibly easy. Worth a try for a special dinner.

bee said...

never tried cooked endive (witlof) before. have used tender leaves in salad or as wrapper for rolls. your meal sounds very satisfying. --jai