What can be better than receiving some long stem roses for Valentine’s Day? How about a half dozen long stem endive? To be more precise, a Valentine bouquet of “on-the-root” endive from California Endive Farms. I hate to boast, but in salad circles I have friends in high places and I love it when they remember me on Valentine’s Day. Before we go any further I am assuming you are pronouncing it right; you already know it’s “on-deeve” not “n-dive”. There is also no need to tell you all about endive’s interesting history, versatility, and great nutritional value, because you are going to want to go over to endive.com and check it out for yourself. They do a much better job of telling their story than I could. It’s a great web site that has everything you need to know about endive including many recipes that will make enjoying this great local product even better. When I got home with my bouquet, I couldn’t wait to take some pictures of it. It was so beautiful I easily could have left it on the counter to enjoy for a few days, but endives are not fond of the light…and besides, I couldn’t wait to eat them. I decided to try the recipe that came with my bouquet which I personalized slightly. I hope you will like it as much as I did. Thank you California Endive Farms for your thoughtful gift… I’m enjoying it!
- 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
- 4 heads of endive (red and white)
- 1 firm but ripe pear
- ¼ cup walnuts, roasted
- 3 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- Combine the lemon juice, salt, mustard, and shallots in a bowl and mix. Slowly add olive oil, while vigorously whisking until completely blended. Whisk in the parsley and set aside.
- Roast the walnuts in a 300 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown, remove and set aside.
- I like to peel the pears but most people leave it on. In any case, quarter it, core it and slice it into ½ inch pieces.
- Gently fold the pears into the dressing. Remove 8 nice outer leaves for garnishing the plates and set aside.
- Slice the remaining leaves into ½ inch slices discarding the core.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and toss. Plate your salads and garnish with two leaves on each plate.
Note: When shopping for endive, select fresh pale yellow ones. If it is green it has been exposed to light for too long. Also, make sure that it hasn’t been over trimmed. You should not have to remove any leaves when you get it home. The outer leaves are the best, and plump is good.