dimanche 14 novembre 2010


L'endive est bruxelloise, mais c'est du chicon pour les Belges et les Français du Nord, qui en produisent les quatre cinquièmes.

Elle naît d'un étrange incident. La Révolution de septembre 1830 éloigne quelques temps de sa ferme Jan Lammers, agriculteur de Schaerbeck. Pour les conserver, il recouvre d'une couche de terre les racines de chicorée entreposeés dans sa cave. A son retour, il les découvre surmontées d'un toupet de feuilles blanches qui se révèlent délicieuses.
A l'instar du champignon de Paris, l'endive se cultive donc à l'abri de la lumière. La technique s'est perfectionnée depuis la découverte involontaire de Lammers. Aujourd'hui, on pratique le forçage sur des racines de chicorée arrachées à leur terre natale, débarrassées de leurs feuilles vertes et repiquées dans le sable. Les endives sont serrées comme des sardines, ce qui les fait croître à la verticale et leur donnent cette forme ogivale et cette densité du feuillage.
Privée de chlorophylle, elle se distingue par sa blancheur nacrée. La présence de feuilles vertes indiquent une exposition lumineuse indésirable, et augure d'une amertume excessive. Il faut donc les conserver à l'ombre, par exemple dans le bas du frigo, enveloppée dans un sac en papier ou un torchon (surtout pas de plastique).
C'est le légume d'hiver par excellence. Achetez-les de préférence de novembre à mars.
Comment les cuisiner ?
On peut évidemment les faire bouillir et les réchauffer ensuite avec du beurre. Mais elle seront meilleures braisées au bouillon de volaille, car elles perdront alors juste ce qu'il faut de leur eau, tout en concentrant le meilleur de leur saveur.

33 commentaires:

  1. Merci pour les endives...et la blette? et le topinambour? et la rhubarbe? Il faut revaloriser la cusine du nord! Par ailleurs, y a t il une maniere acceptable de cuisiner la betterave rouge pour ceux qui ont ete traumatises par les cantines scolaires des leur plus tendre enfance?

  2. Je crois reconnaître l'auteur de ce commentaire... Tu trouveras une recette de blette dans mon article sur les légumes d'hiver: http://alacasserole.blogspot.com/2010/12/dix-legumes-dhiver.html
    Et je vais lui consacrer un article spécifique, ainsi qu'au topinambour. En revanche, la rhubarbe attendra le printemps, car je m'en tiens aux produits de saison. Il faut avoir des principes dans la vie.

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