I went out of town again this weekend and came home to a nearly empty fridge. Fortunately in my world, that usually means there's still something that I can cobble together to eat, avoiding the ever present delivery menus that I have shoved into a drawer. While there may be ingredients lurking, the end result is not always so obvious.
After opening and closing the fridge about 15 times (and finally finding usable ingredients), I came up with my dinner: Grilled Endive with Prosciutto and Pecorino. No, I don't have an outdoor balcony, patio, or backyard, but I do have a grill pan, which I ordinarily avoid because using it smokes up my apartment and sets off my smoke detector. Grilling salmon indoors? Absolutely not. Grilling endive? Totally. And since my endive was a little past it's prime, grilling it seemed the only way to rescue it from it's inevitable trip down my trash chute. The prosciutto was leftover from my fig extravagance last week, so although it was not in perfect shape (it was starting to get a bit dry) it softened over the warm endive. The Pecorino was stashed in my fridge just because I try to keep hard cheeses (also Parmesan) on hand because they last longer than soft cheeses (just be sure to keep well wrapped in wax paper and sealed in a plastic bag) and are great in a variety of recipes.
This recipe was inspired by the Grilled Radicchio appetizer at Bianca, my favorite cheap eats destination. The menu describes it as "grilled radicchio under a blanket of prosciutto and Pecorino." Hmmm...a blanket of prosciutto. Sounds cozy.
Grilled Endive with Prosciutto and Pecorino
2 medium Belgian endives, cut in half lengthwise
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 slices prosciutto
1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the endive with the oil and season with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, place the endive cut side down and cook (without moving) until well browned, about 6 minutes. Turn over and continue cooking until softened, about 5 minutes more. Remove to a plate.
2. Layer the prosciutto over the endive and top with the cheese, to taste. Drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil and additional pepper to taste. Makes one salad.