I’ve known for as long as I remember that I can smell and taste in my dreams, though apparently not everybody can. There are even people who don’t dream in colour! The only dream I’ve ever had that I noticed was in black and white was a nightmare, laid out like an illustrated newspaper article, the grisly bits accented with fluorescent marker.
A couple of days ago the dream engine served me caramelised chicory with pecorino, and it was absolutely delicious. I made some for lunch today as an experiment (hey, it’s my birthday, I can do outrageous things) and yes, it was absolutely delicious! As far as I can tell exactly the same as in my dream, too. What I didn’t have in the dream (so I didn’t think of it) but would have been nice, was a piece of toast or crusty French bread to go with it.
So here’s the recipe (quantities per serving):
1 head chicory (if you have a choice, get a properly bitter variety)
about 15g butter
1 tbsp honey
pinch of salt (not too much, the cheese is salty too)
splash of water
Cut the chicory in quarters lengthwise, or in chunks if you want easier-to-eat pieces (it doesn’t matter much but the long pieces are fun). Discard the hard core, if any.
Melt the butter in a wide thick-bottomed pan and put the chicory in as soon as it stops foaming. Saute for a couple of minutes, until coated completely with butter. Pour the honey over and sprinkle with salt. Stir until well mixed, then add a little water, cover the pan, turn the heat to low and let the chicory soften for about 5 minutes.
Uncover, turn the heat to high, and stir while the moisture evaporates. This will make the chicory fall apart if it hasn’t already done that and the soft parts will almost melt. When it starts to look and smell caramelly, put it on a plate and shave some pecorino over it.