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Grilled Chicory With Cheese And Chive Dumplings

ingredients

4 heads chicory
16 rashers smoked streaky bacon
8 oz (250 g) fresh curd cheese
1 eggyolk
1 small bunch chives
1 oz (30 g) grated Emmenthal or Edam cheese
2 1/2 oz (70 g) butter
scant 2 fl oz (45-50 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

method

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) mark 6 and turn on the grill ready for use.

2. Trim and rinse the chicory then cut each head lengthwise in half and place cut side uppermost in a single layer in a lightly oiled gratin dish. Season and sprinkle with the olive oil.

3. Place the curd cheese in a large mixing bowl and blend in the egg yolk with a wooden spoon; add about 1 tbsp chives snipped with kitchen scissors, the grated cheese, salt and pepper. Stir well and then mould into flattened oval shapes.

4. Grill the bacon until crisp; drain off all the fat. Place the gratin dish containing the chicory under the very hot grill for 8 - 10 minutes, turning the chicory pieces halfway through the cooking time.

5. Transfer the gratin dish to the preheated oven for 5 minutes. By now the chicory will have wilted and softened; fold each one in half so that the cut sides meet and place a piece of crispy bacon on top of each chicory half, then fill the spaces with the cheese and chive dumplings.

6. Return the gratin dish to the oven for 4-5 minutes while you melt the butter in a saucepan.

7. Pour the butter over the dumplings and serve.

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