For this vegetable side, L'Etoile chef Tory Miller's local gin source is Death's Door Spirits in Madison, Wisconsin, a distillery that uses wild juniper berries harvested on Washington Island in Lake Michigan. "I love that they pick all those juniper berries by hand up in Door County," he says.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 medium Belgian endives, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup gin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh orange juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons salted roasted pumpkin seeds
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
How to Make It
In each of 2 large skillets, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the endive halves, cut sides down, and cook over moderate heat until richly browned, about 5 minutes. Slowly pour 1/4 cup of the gin into each skillet and cook until it's reduced by half. Turn the endives over, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add 1/2 cup of the orange juice to each skillet. Cover and cook over low heat, turning once, until the endives are tender, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the braised endives to a warm platter, cut sides up. Pour the liquid from one of the skillets into the other. Add the butter and honey and boil over high heat until syrupy, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour the sauce over the endives and garnish with the sliced scallions and roasted pumpkin seeds. Drizzle the endives with the balsamic vinegar and serve.