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Deep-fried Curly Endive

Source: Cucina Ebraica - Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen
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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  20 Minutes
  Serves 6
A Roman specialty, crispy curly endive (also known as chicory, and similar to frisee, which can be substituted) is usually served as a side dish to roasts. If you can't find perfect heads of endive, radicchio or even Belgian endive can be used in their place. Because the original recipes don't advise dipping the chicory in a batter or flour, I first tried it unadorned. It was good, but quite greasy. Dripping the greens in an egg wash and flour before frying eliminates the problem.
RECIPE INGREDIENTS
6 small heads of curly endive
Olive, peanut, or safflower oil for deep-frying  
2 eggs
4 tablespoons water
all-purpose flour for coating
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
lemon wedges for serving (optional)
DIRECTIONS
Pick off any limp or unsightly outer leaves but keep each head intact. Drop the heads into a large pot of boiling salted water and simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain, squeeze out excess moisture gently with a clean dish towel, then spread to dry well on another towel. (This pre-cooking can be done a few hours ahead of time.)


To serve, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a saucepan, and heat to 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, prepare an egg wash by lightly beating the eggs with the water in a bowl large enough for dipping a head of endive. Spread the flour on a plate or in a shallow soup bowl. When the oil is ready, one at a time, dip the endives into the egg wash and then in the flour, coating lightly. Slip into the oil in batches and deep-fry, turning with tongs as necessary, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; keep hot until all the heads are cooked. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve at once with lemon wedges, if desired.


Recipe reprinted by permission of Chronicle. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 6
Calories: 108
Fat. Total: 5g
Fiber: 11g
Carbohydrates, Total: 13g
Sodium: 96mg
% Cal. from Fat: 42%
Cholesterol: 71mg
Protein: 7g
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