Thursday, February 7, 2013

Belgian Endive Salad With Almonds, Apples, and Whole-Grain Mustard

In preparation for visiting the weekly farmer's market, I was perusing recipes and eagerly choosing those that will be prepared over the next few days. When I came across this one, I thought, "yes". I always love the combination of fruit and nuts, and delicate endive is always nice - something I eat too infrequently. But what really sparked my interest was the dressing -  lemony-garlic mayonnaise with whole grain mustard and a little vinegar. 

With the meal planning done and the grocery list complete, I headed out to the market, met up with my friend and off we went. 

It was a beautiful, crisp sunny day and, as always, we enjoyed approaching each and every stall to view the beautiful produce.

Santa Monica Farmer's Market

Trying to focus on my grocery list, but making mental notes of what I should pick up and prepare next week. {perhaps some beautiful romanesco cauliflower}.

Romanesco Cauliflower

Armed with a tote bag overflowing with fresh produce, I parted ways with my friend and headed home to the kitchen, eager to make this salad. 

As it turned out, the dressing was quite good, but what really makes this recipe a keeper is the way all the ingredients work together - the creaminess and tang from the dressing blended with crispy, tart apples and crunchy, salty almonds balanced with anise-like tarragon. I know I say this often and think it even more often, but here I go:  this is one of the best salads I have ever had.  Mr Savory, Sweet and Spicy said the same thing. 

Belgian Endive Salad With Almonds, Apples, and Whole-Grain Mustard

1 c + 1/2 c whole almonds
olive oil
kosher salt
6-8 heads of Belgian endive {depending on their size}
1 large Granny Smith apple
1 heaping T of fresh chopped chives
1 heaping T of fresh chopped tarragon leaves
1 heaping T of fresh chopped Italian parsley
sea salt
- for the dressing
1/2 c Vegenaise
1 T olive oil
2 t fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
1 t + 1/2 t  garlic cloves, minced
1/8 t kosher salt, or more to taste
3 T whole grain mustard
2 t red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spread the almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer and place them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the nuts are fragrant and browned. Remove from the oven, drizzle them with a little olive oil, sprinkle them with sea salt and toss to coat. Set the almonds aside to cool and then roughly chop them.

To make the dressing, combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl. Set aside 1/4 c of the chopped almonds and add the remaining almonds to the dressing, mixing thoroughly to combined.

Pull the endive leaves from the core and place them in a bowl.  Discard the cores. Drizzle the dressing on the endive leaves and massage the dressing into the leaves. Cut the apple into 4 segments around the core, discard the core and thinly slice the segments. Combine the herbs in a small bowl.

To assemble the salad, start by placing 1/3 of the endive leaves, evenly divided, among 4 plates. Top with a layer of apples. Repeat two more times so you have 3 layers. Scatter the mixed herbs on remaining almonds on top. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Serves 4.
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Source:  A Twist Of The Writs, Nancy Silverton

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