Monday, September 12, 2011

Endive and apple salad

During the summer, as we were getting hit by hurricane Irene on the east coast, we had been to Vermont and the food there was organic, fresh and absolutely delicious. In a little town called Quechee we chanced upon a lovely restaurant attached to the Simon Pearce  glass factory. It overlooks the falls and its menus are inspired by the ingredients from the local community farms. There I had a salad of grilled endives, grilled radicchio and grilled sweet onions, dressed with a sweet balsamic vinegar and to make it super interesting for the "not so veg" in me, it was topped with grilled tiger prawns as well. My vegetarian family couldn't eat it - ergo I created this recipe for them to enjoy the taste of grilled endives.

I grill the endive and pair it with apples, and pecans. The best kind of apples to pair with endives are those which have a combination of sweet and tart flavors like Braeburn, Ginger Gold, Jonagold, Paula Red etc. which provides a nice contrast to the slightly bitter taste of the endives. Pecans add a crunch and the tangy goat cheese crumbled on top provides a creamy finish. The salad is dressed simply with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Endive and apple salad with pecans and goat cheese

1 large head of Belgian endive
1/2 Braeburn apple, cored, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 cup roasted salted pecans, broken up into bits
2 oz fresh goat cheese like Chevre, crumbled
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon good quality aged balsamic vinegar (the cheap ones are too acidic)
2 teaspoons unfiltered or a good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Preheat a stove top grill pan over medium heat.
  2. Cut the endive into half vertically and brush both sides with olive oil. Place the cut side on the preheated grill and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes just to get grill marks and warm the endive a bit. Flip to the other side and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Chop the endives into 1/2 inch pieces and combine with the apples and pecans. 
  4. Make a dressing with the balsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoon olive oil and kosher salt. Lightly dress the salad and top with crumble goat cheese.
Serves 2

Note: If you liked endive, then you might want to try the endive, corn and black eyed pea salad

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