This is the best-yet recreation of a traditional Roman recipe with American ingredients (dandelion greens are an imperfect substitute). The melting ice cubes are essential for watering down the very intense dressing, and will also keep the endive curled up and crisp, the dressing focused and sharp. Adapted slightly from Prune (Random House, 2014). —Genius Recipes
Belgian endive (up to 1 pound)
to 5 cloves burning, sticky fresh garlic, peeled
Trim the brown bits at the base of each head of endive. Cut into long, thin strips, top to bottom, like straw. Place in a metal bowl and scatter the ice on top.
Mince the anchovies very fine. Microplane the garlic, wasting none. Whisk together the garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and many grinds of black pepper. Drizzle all over the endive and toss well to blend with the cold water from the melting ice. Be sure it has all its accumulated dressing when you portion -- the garlic is ferocious and needs to be tamed by the water.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Creative Director Kristen Miglore.