The smoky, spicy and sweet flavours of the jelly are a perfect foil to chicory’s underlying bitterness and the sticky sauce will have you licking the plate clean. The other ingredients are all natural partners to chicory and make this dish robust enough to be served on its own, as a starter, or to perhaps accompany a steak.
2 heads of chicory, cut in half lengthways
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp Smoked Chilli Jelly
100g bleu d’auvergne, or a similar type of blue cheese
50g toasted walnuts
Using a paring knife, remove all the skin from the oranges, then carefully cut out all the segments from the flesh. Place a bowl underneath to catch the segments and any falling juice, then squeeze the carcass for any remaining juice.
Place a large pan on a medium to high heat and when hot, add the olive oil, followed by the chicory, cut side down. If you can’t fit all the chicory in one go, then do it in two batches. Leave the chicory for 3-5 minutes to allow it to caramelise to a deep brown colour. If necessary, remove the chicory from the pan and allow to heat up again, before adding the next batch. Once they are browned, add the butter to the pan and when foaming, place the chicory back in and use a spoon to cover them with butter, turning the chicory frequently. Season with salt and pepper.
Once the chicory has started to wilt and shrink in size, add the smoked chilli jelly and the juice from the oranges and continue to baste the chicory for 10 minutes, so that it is well coated and only firm right in the core. If the sauce becomes too sticky and reduced, add a splash of water.
Whilst hot, place the chicory on a plate, followed by the oranges, walnuts and crumbled blue cheese.