Cheeky chicory and cherry tomato gratin

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This is actually an Ottlolenghi recipe with fennel, but I went to the supermarket and was told they had stopped buying it in. Apparently the people of Bethnal Green don’t eat fennel!
I thought I’d revert back to the French classic, and it was just as lovely as with fennel. If anything it was better. The sweet crumble and cherry tomatoes really worked well with the mouth smackingly bitter chicory.
I’ve also reigned in the crumble in this recipe. It’s so sweet that it’s verging on the dessert. There’s also so much of it that a lot of it remains sweet-sticky-floury pap, not the crunchy loveliness a crumble should be.
A proper autumn warmer this one.

4 chicory bulbs, cut into quarters
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp thyme and a few sprigs
250ml double cream
300g cherry tomatoes on the vine
100g Parmesan, grated
150g plain flour
50g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, cubed

Preheat the oven to 200°C
Mix the cream, garlic, thyme and some seasoning and pour over the quartered chicory in an ovenproof dish.
Mix the flour, sugar and cubed, cold butter in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until there are no lumps of butter. Stir through the Parmesan.
Chuck over the crumble mix, chuck on a few sprigs of thyme, cover with tin foil and bang it in oven for 45 minutes.
Once the time is up, remove the tin foil and place the cherry tomatoes on top.
Roast for another 45 minutes until the skin has split on the tomatoes and the crumble is golden and crisp.
Eat!

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