I’d noticed a big box of Belgian endives on the shelf in the produce section of the Park Slope Food Coop every time I shopped for the past few weeks. I’d had a really delicious endive salad in France in March, and so, with visions of Vieux Lyon and andouillette dancing in my head, I decided to find an endive salad recipe of my own. This one — featuring endives and apples, topped with toasted walnuts and a shallot vinagrette — is what I came up with.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind about this salad. First, a nice variation is to add some radicchio — it adds color (as you can see from the photo, it’s a pretty pale salad otherwise) and spicy flavor. Plus, radicchio and Belgian endive are both varieties of chicory (thanks, Wikipedia), so you’re basically eating a family reunion.
Second, as Claire noted in her excellent post on toasting nuts, there is a fine line between toasted walnuts and burned walnuts, so pay close attention to their progress, especially if you’re toasting on the stovetop like I was. If you burn the walnuts, I suggest you start over, because they taste strongly of popcorn and will drown out the more delicate flavors of the salad.
Another thing — preparing the endive takes a bit of careful cutting. This diagram was really helpful. Finally, the dressing and walnuts can be prepared in bulk, making this quick recipe even quicker, but the apple will turn brown if sliced beforehand.
Endive and Apple Salad
I found this on MyRecipes.com, which had borrowed from Deborah Madison’s recipe in December 2007’s Cooking Light.
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 thinly-sliced Granny Smith apple
- 2 heads Belgian endive, separated into leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
Combine dressing ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add apple and endive; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with nuts.