Bacon-Wrapped Endive

This is a fairly easy appetizer to make, the only tedious part is wrapping the endive.  The bitter endive pairs well with the salty, smoked bacon.  I sprinkle it with fresh-cracked pepper before putting it in the oven and finish it off with sea salt before serving.  I do use thick-cut bacon as it stand up well during the long baking period.  You get four appetizers from each endive head, and cut each slice of bacon in half - do the math according to your needs. 
Remove any withered or discolored outside endive leaves, then slice off the bottom part of the endive root, leaving enough in tact so it stays together.  Slice in half and then look at how much root is possible to slice off and still keep a stable quarter section when finished - then cut each half in half again.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Bring a 4 qt. saucepan to boil with heavily-salted water.  Place the endive quarters in there and blanch for two minutes - drain and place on towel so they dry somewhat.  When they are cool enough to handle, secure one end of the bacon to the base of the endive with a toothpick, then twist the bacon around the endive quarter and carefully secure it on the top with another toothpick.  I insert the toothpick horizontally through the base of the endive so you do not see most of the toothpick, yet can easily remove it when eating.

Place wrapped endive sections onto a cooling rack that has been set inside a half-sheet pan.  Bake for 25 minutes, rotating the pan half ways through if necessary.  Remove from oven, sprinkle with sea salt - serve.

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