- 3 medium-sized heads of chicory (witloof)
- 1 cup organic cream
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 free-range eggs
- 500 g cream cheese with black pepper
- 1 T flour
- 50 g ready-to-use toasted breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus extra, shaved, for serving
- 2 T organic butter, melted
- Chives, snipped, to garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Line a 20-cm round springform or loose-bottomed cake tin with a round of baking paper.
Cut off the ends of the chicory, then slice lengthways. In a saucepan over a medium heat, simmer the chicory in the cream - covered - for 5 to 10 minutes, or until just cooked but still tender-crisp.
Strain over a bowl, reserving the liquid. Season the chicory and arrange in the prepared cake pan.
Blend the eggs, cream cheese, flour, reserved liquid and a little seasoning. Pour into the tin. Mix the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan and butter and sprinkle on top.
Cover with a round of well-buttered greaseproof paper. Place on a baking tray and bake for 1½ hours, or until set. Turn off the heat and leave in the oven for 10 minutes.
Remove and cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate and serve warm, topped with shavings of Parmesan, and, if you like, snipped chives.
Cook’s note: Slim leeks, sliced lengthways and simmered in cream, could substitute for the chicory, if you prefer. Chicory is also known as endive, and is a delicious and versatile winter vegetable.