You can refrigerate the wrapped, oiled endive for several hours before cooking. For a delicious variation on the salsa verde, add a few salt-packed anchovy fillets. If you're grilling, cook the endive over glowing (not flaming) coals.
Make the salsa verde: In a food processor, combine the parsley, shallots, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and lemon zest. If you're using anchovies, add them, too. Add the egg; pulse briefly until just chopped. Stir in the capers. Taste and season with pepper and with salt, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or so before serving to let flavors develop. About 15 minutes before serving, take the salsa verde out of the refrigerator to let it come to room temperature.
Cook the endive: Cut the steamed endive in half lengthwise. Cut out the tiny center leaves and the core and discard. Brush the endive with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and season with a squeeze of lemon, salt, and pepper. Wrap each endive half loosely with two slices of pancetta (the slices may unravel as you work with them; this is fine). Brush again with a little olive oil. Start a charcoal grill or heat the broiler. Arrange the wrapped endive on the grill over glowing (not flaming) coals or close to the broiler and cook, turning several times, until the pancetta is crisp and browned and the endive is heated through, about 8 minutes. Arrange on a serving platter and spoon the salsa verde around the endive. Serve immediately.
It's okay if the pancetta unravels. You'll need to wrap it loosely anyway for Grilled Endive with Pancetta, because the meat shrinks slightly as it cooks.
nutrition information (per serving):
31, Fat Calories
280, Saturated Fat
12, Monounsaturated Fat
8, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Amy Albert and Scott Phillips