Braised quince and witlof

Braised quince and witlof

By
From
Real Food by Mike
Serves
4
Photographer
Alan Benson

Quince is my favourite fruit and it’s wonderful to use in a savoury way rather than always sweet as a dessert. You can speed this recipe up by cutting the quince into smaller pieces – however, larger chunks mean a longer cooking time and more flavour development, which is always better. Try using red witlof for colour contrast and blood orange for an even darker caramel colour. This is absolutely delicious served with all types of meat and strong-flavoured fish, such as mackerel, mullet, groper or tuna.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
750g witlof, halved lengthways
2 quinces, cut into eighths, skin left on and seeds removed
50g light soft brown sugar
50ml extra-virgin olive oil
50g unsalted butter
2 oranges, zested and juiced
2 star anise
100ml chicken stock
100ml balsamic vinegar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. In a large flameproof casserole dish over medium heat, fry the witlof, quince and sugar in the olive oil and butter until lightly brown. Add the orange zest and juice, star anise and stock. Cover with baking paper and bake in the oven until tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Add the vinegar and, on the stove top, reduce the liquor down to a glaze, with everything in the pan, turning the witlof and the quince occasionally to give them a shiny finish.

Medicinal Benefit

  • Quince contains certain tannins that bind to toxins in the colon, protecting from inflammatory bowel disease, cancers and diverticulitis. Quince is also high in immune-boosting vitamin C, which helps in the body’s production of collagen, the connective tissue that knits together wounds and supports blood vessel walls. It also contains copper, a mineral that plays an important role in iron metabolism and the production of red blood cells. Witlof is a good source of vitamin A, essential for healthy eyesight and maintaining tissue and skin. It also has B complex vitamins (for converting food into energy), folic acid (for building new cells) and manganese (to help in the breakdown of amino acids, cholesterol and carbohydrates).
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