Chicory in aubergine with pecorino and besciamella

Chicory is transformed into a rich and hearty dish in Ross Burden's recipe for a flavourful vegetable bake
By Ross Burden
Chicory in aubergine with pecorino and besciamella
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 350 ml white wine
  • 650 ml hot water
  • 6 heads of chicory or endive, trimmed of any wilted leaves
  • black pepper
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 6 large slices aubergines
  • 15 g butter
  • 30 g plain flour
  • 500 ml full-fat milk
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp finely grated parmesan
  • 150 g grated pecorino cheese


1. Place the white wine and hot water in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer, add in the chicory and season with salt.

2. Poach the chicory for 10-12 minutes until just tender. Drain and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add in the aubergine and fry until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

5. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Mix in the flour and cook, stirring, over a low heat for 2-3 minutes. Gradually stir in the milk and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens into a white sauce. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper and the freshly grated nutmeg.

6. Butter an ovenproof dish large enough to take the chicory in one layer. Dust with one and a half tablespoons of the grated Parmesan.

7. Spread each aubergine slice with the Pecorino cheese and wrap each slice around a chicory head. Place each aubergine-wrapped chicory in the buttered dish, join side-down.

8. Layer over the white sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and bake for 30 minutes until browned and bubbling. Serve hot from the oven.

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