Enchanting Endive

Endive salad with creamy Maytag blue cheese.

Endive salad with creamy Maytag blue cheese.

When it comes to bitter, its best buddy is something equally aggressive.

Oh, don’t worry. This isn’t a case of butting heads.

In fact, it’s a recipe for perfect harmony, as one assertive taste needs another, lest one overtake the other completely.

That’s why when it comes to endive, its pleasant bitterness practically begs for something sharp like mustard or vinegar or a piquant cheese.

“Tangle of Radicchio and Endive with Chives and Maytag Blue” proves just that.

The recipe is from “Salads: Beyond the Bowl”“Salads: Beyond the Bowl” (Kyle), of which I received a review copy last year. The book by Mindy Fox, food editor of La Cucina Italiana, includes 100 recipes for simple yet elegant salads that feature leafy lettuce, potatoes, beans, pasta, fish, game or meat.

This salad couldn’t be simpler, especially because the easy dressing  is made right in the bowl you toss everything in. It calls for both radicchio and Belgian endive. But I used all endive, in both green and red varieties after getting samples from California Vegetable Specialties of Rio Vista, CA, the only producer of endives in the United States. The company grows more than 4 million pounds of endive (and yes, it’s pronounced “on-deev) annually.

The endive is tossed with olive oil, chives and red vinegar. Tangy, nutty Maytag blue cheese is crumbled all over the top.

It makes for an effortless salad with big flavors for Easter brunch or for any warm day ahead.


Tangle of Radicchio and Endive with Chives and Maytag Blue

(Serves 4)

3/4 pound radicchio

3/4 pound Belgian endive

1/4 cup snipped chives

2 tablespoons very good extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces Maytag blue cheese, at room temperature

Cut radicchio in half lengthwise. Cut out and discard the core, then cut the head crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick ribbons. Cut endive crosswise on a slight diagonal into 1/8-inch-thick slices, through the core.

In a large bowl, combine radicchio, endive and chives. Add the oil, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to combine, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Mound the greens onto 4 serving plates, then crumble the blue cheese over the greens with more black pepper to taste.

From “Salads: Beyond the Bowl” by Mindy Fox


More Endive Recipes: Braised Endive in Mustard Vinaigrette


And: Roasted Endive with Sherry Vinegar

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