I fell in love with endive while living in Belgium. We were about twenty-minutes north of the French border, where cobblestone streets in the grande place (grahnd platz) branched in all directions from the center of the town, always leading us to the most delicious foods.
Being away from the states for the first time, Belgian specialties seemed so exotic – bistros, restaurants and carts offered mussels, frites, crepes, waffles, and a funny looking lettuce that was braised or boiled and often served as a side dish; endive (pronounced on-deeve). Today, those “exotic” specialties are some of my favorite comfort foods, especially the endive.
4 large heads endive (or 6 small ones) about 1.5 lbs.
1 large green apple
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped coarsely
¼ cup dry roasted, unsalted pistachio nuts
1/2 shallot, minced (about 1 Tablespoon)
1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, smashed lightly
3 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
a half teaspoon of honey
1. Cut apple into 4 large pieces around the core and julienne or cut into thin strips. Remove to a small bowl and toss the apple well with the juice of one lemon. This will prevent the apple from discoloring (and adds a citrusy flavor to the salad).
2. Separate endive leaves; stack them and cut into long strips on the diagonal. Put them in a large bowl with the chopped parsley. Mix in the apple and pistachios. This can be refrigerated until ready to serve.
3. Make dressing: in a small bowl, mix the minced shallot with the vinegar and let macerate for 10 minutes to ½ hour. Wisk in the mustard, a whole garlic clove lightly smashed with the side of a knife, salt and pepper to taste and honey.
4. When ready to serve, remove garlic clove and dress salad, using a little dressing at a time until it’s just coated.
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Rio Vista, California 94571