By: Pat Mozersky
Executive chef Gabriel Ibarra heads up the kitchen at Suzy and Cappy Lawton’s ever-popular Cappy’s Restaurant, and his talent is evident with just one bite of his ethereal Endive, Apple and Gorgonzola Dolce Salad.
Both slightly bitter Belgian endive and crisp, tart apple pair magnificently with the walnuts and the sweetness of the walnuts makes them the perfect foil for the salty gorgonzola. To top it off, Ibarra’s outstanding Creamy Walnut Dressing is the ideal complement to the salad. A touch of honey counters the vinegar and lemon juice, the tang of buttermilk revs up the mayonnaise (and lowers the fat content), and the paprika and cayenne add just a hint of heat.
A great recipe deserves the best of ingredients. Obviously, the walnuts play a big role in this salad, so be sure they’re fresh. Those kept over a year in the back of the freezer can turn bitter and ruin the dish. The gorgonzola dolce, or “sweet” gorgonzola, is the soft, mild version (as opposed to the aged, stronger-flavored) of Italy’s blue cheese. Belgian endive, the cigar-shaped, creamy-colored star of this salad, should be crisp and unblemished, with firmly packed heads sporting pale, yellow-green tips. It’s at its peak during winter months. Belgian endive is closely related to, and frequently confused with its cousins, curly endive, also called frisée, with its feathery, delicate leaves, or escarole, aka chicory, with broad, pale green leaves.
Prepare this lovely salad at home, and feel free to lick the plate!
15 Poppy House Road
Rio Vista, California 94571