Simple yet impressive vegetarian Belgian Endive salad – or healthy nibble with wine

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This is another one of those recipes, that is in actual fact not a recipe. I didn’t used to love endive, but the fact that you can wash them in 2 minutes, chop them or separate out the leaves and lay them flat on a serving dish and put a salad on the table in minutes endeared them to me. This salad is one I sometimes serve as a dinner party starter – wash endives, separate into single leaves, lie flat on a plate, sprinkle with crumbed blue cheese, I use gorgonzola,the creaminess works well with the sharpness of the endives and the saltiness of the blue mold, you then toast a handful of walnuts (or if you don’t want to toast just toss them over as is) crush the walnuts in your fist and sprinkle over the salad leaves and then drizzle honey on top – et voila. You can serve as a starter or even as a snack with drinks as guests can happily scoop up a single salad leaf to enjoy with a glass of wine.

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22 thoughts on “Simple yet impressive vegetarian Belgian Endive salad – or healthy nibble with wine

  1. My problem with endive here in US that it is usually quite bitter. Otherwise, it is almost an ideal vehicle for a portioned appetizer, or a salad as you described. I can’t make up my mind on what wine would pair well with it – if we have to go into the sweeter ones, like Riesling, or more of an herbal profile, like Sancerre. Which wine would you serve this salad with?

    • Hello there Anatoli, lovely to read you. I guess you could blanch to remove the bitterness, only then they wouldn’t be lovely and crunchy anymore. Regarding the wine – what an intelligent question – we had it as a weekday appetiser so no wine, however, last night we had a long discussion on what to serve it with. Considering the fact that the endives I had were not bitter and taking into account the walnuts, the creamy, salty but strong gorgonzola AND the honey, I personally think I’d be tempted by a sweeter wine? Maybe a Gewürztraminer, or even a small glass of Greek Samos? A Chenin Blanc? And I remember that I bought some bottles of a rosé d’anjou years ago, that were slightly sweet, but had an intriguing side to it, wasn’t a classic rosé – cried out for a piece of pannetone in fact, so that in my taste memory would work too? Some Italian websites recommend Moscato passito liquoroso or a “virgin” Marsala, as well as wines named Gambellara Recioto or Ramandolo ( I don’t know either). Funnily enough Mr Polianthus, being Italian, was emphatic in his opinion that a red wine would be called for. I cannot see that working with the endives…..I guess I’ll need to test and see!

      • Yep, sounds like taste test is in order, Poli! I don’t see red wine working with it, except may be German Pinot Noir ( or a very cold climate Pinot Noir in general – it might actually complement the “grassiness” of endive? If you will experiment, looking forward hearing about it!

    • Ah well there is some justice there if you cannot get endives there. I love some things I cannot easily get here – for example sometimes I crave fresh coconut chutney with chilies and mint as well as dosas from time to time – but sadly cannot source that easily here – and my homemade versions are just not as good – thanks so much for popping by!

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