i read about this in my other ottolenghi cookbook. they’ve taught me all i know. and well – i love it. id never had creme fraiche until last week and its really changed the way i think and feel…mainly about creme fraiche. ottolenghi puts blue cheese in this. and like a good disciple i followed along unquestioningly. it was only later that it occured to me that in fact i dont like blue cheese and for those of you that understand why i think some soft goats cheese is probably a very good alternative. ottolenghi calls this a starter. i call that word a bit wanky so i just call it by its name. i suppose if you were a fully functioning member of society, and entertained people, and sat around a big table discussing things like films, theatre, the israeli-palestinian conflict, the advent of robot swarms, marxism and collaborative forms of community in capitalism, and the merits of a number of different and varying cheeses, including but not exclusive to blue – then this would provide an excellent starter. for those prone to avoiding such scenarios, and who prefer to take their meals standing up in a darkened corner (social cripple is such an ugly term) then i would not use the word starter. whichever way you choose to live your life i suggest that these leaves, bound together by multifarious cheeses, topped with pine nuts, represent an elegant solution to the question – what do i eat first?
50g cheese (roquefort or goats or whatever you want as long as it crumbles and has the capacity to absorb itself into a larger body of creme fraiche
150g creme fraiche
50g pine nuts (toasted in frypan in a bit of butter)
some rocket or radicchio or whatever you got
salt and pepper
grate the cheese into the creme fraiche and add some salt and pepper. whisk well until it gets thick.
then trim the endives and remove outer leaves to get to the goodness at the heart of the thing. smear each leaf with some of the creme fraiche mixture.
form piles of 5-6 leaves, pressing each together, with each leaf encased in a larger one.
put salad leaves onto a plate. place a few of the endives on top and sprinkle with pine nuts. could not be easier.