La Cuillere d’Argent (The Silver Spoon) is the bible of Italian cooking, the way Larousse Gastronomique is to French cooking. My mother in law has a copy and she’s raving how it is full of excellent recipes and how everything she made from there tasted excellent. And ma belle mere indeed cooks great dishes, so I trust her.
The thing about this book is it is indeed a bible. Recipes after recipes are written in a sterile way, though on this last edition I have, they have added 400 photos to accompany the bazillion recipes inside. So it does require diligence and exertion to go through the recipes. It is not a cook book for somebody who decides what to cook based on beautiful images. Neither is this for a chef who likes insider stories behind a particular recipe. But I will tell you this, if you have an ingredient and you’re searching for a different way to prepare it, this is the book you should turn to.
When eaten on its own, endives have bitter taste. The red ones are particularly sharper than the white/green ones. But once cooked, the taste turns mellow. So for this particular recipe, I think it’s important to have a good vegetable (or chicken) stock.
About 1.5 L vegetable/ chicken stock
80 gr butter, divided
1 medium onion, diced small
200 gr Red Belgian Endives (or Italian’s Radicchio), sliced – abt 2 endives
350 gr Arborio Rice
1 glass of white wine
A good handful of Parmesan – add more if needed
Salt & (white) Pepper
- In a small pot, heat up the stock and keep warm.
- In a large pan, heat up half of the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and let them sweat for 5 mins, continuously stirring.
- Add in the endives and rice. Stir to let them coat with butter.
- Add the wine, stir and let it evaporate before adding a laddle-ful of stock. Let the liquid be absorbed before adding another ladle. About 18-20 mins in total.
- Season with salt, pepper the rest of the butter and the Parmesan. Taste & adjust, serve immediately.