Curly endive (otherwise known as frisée) is used in the Netherlands to make a traditional winter dish called andijviestamppot. The contrast between the slight bitterness edge of the leaves and the creamy richness of the potatoes works well.
Many traditional recipes simply combine mashed potatoes and raw curly endive with a bit of butter, milk, nutmeg and seasoning. Good classic comfort food at its simplest. Add small cubes of young Gouda cheese to enrich the dish if you fancy. Here it is served with small strips of pan-fried smoked bacon and can be happily eaten as a hearty stand alone lunch or supper dish. It can also be served as a side dish with meatballs, sausages, and gravy.
You will need a large soup pot, a salad spinner, a sharp chef’s knife, a potato masher and a wooden spoon.
1.5 kg. floury potatoes (Maris Piper, King Edwards or similar)
250 grams curly endive
300 grams thin sliced smoked bacon
475 ml. milk
2 tbsp. butter
Pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated)
Sea salt and white pepper to taste
Peel the potatoes and cut into similarly sized pieces for even cooking. Then in a large soup pot, boil the potatoes in salted water for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, wash the head of curly endive thoroughly under cool running water to get rid of any gritty soil. Trim off coarse stems and discard any brown leaves. Dry the salad leaves. With a sharp knife, cut the curly endive into thin strips.
Fry the bacon in a frying pan, until just crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and crumble into small pieces.
Warm the milk in a small saucepan.
Drain, shake and dry the potatoes with kitchen paper before mashing – ideally for a smoother mash use a ricer. Working quickly, add the warm milk and butter. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt and white pepper.
Mix the raw curly endive through the cooked mashed potato mixture. Add the bacon, mix again, and serve piping hot.