by Diane Rossen Worthington
Frisée and Belgian endive are both from the chicory family. Sometimes mistaken for escarole that has broad leaves, frisée is really curly endive with frilly slightly peppery leaves. This member of the chicory family -- which also includes radicchio, Treviso and Belgian endive -- has white roots and green, spiky leaves. Ask your greengrocer to point it out if you're not sure of what it looks like.
Belgian endive (pronounced "on-DEEV"), with its tight stalk, is pretty easy to find at the market. This cool-weather salad combines the best of winter's produce. I like the crisp, sweet, slightly creamy pear flavor contrasting with the Belgian endive and frisée along with the toasted pecans. Any Italian blue cheese will be delicious, but I am partial to Gorgonzola Dolce Latte, a rich and creamy yet delicate blue cheese. If you can't find it, just substitute with other crumbled blue cheese. This is really a nice beginning to any lunch or dinner. It is equally delicious as the ending to a meal with its fruity sweet flavor notes. This recipe also can be doubled.
Belgian Endive Tips
-- Choose crisp, firmly packed heads that are white or pale yellow in color. Red endive should be bright colored with no wrinkled leaves. If the endive is very green, it might be bitterer than the lighter colored endive stalks.
-- Store endive in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. I like to wrap the stalks in paper towels in a lock-top plastic bag.
-- Wipe the outer leaves with a damp paper towel. Remove any torn or damaged leaves, trim the bottom, and use them as the recipe suggests.
Endive Salad with Pear, Pecans and Gorgonzola Dolce Latte Recipe
Serves 4 to 6.
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons Honey Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pecans
1 medium head baby curly endive or frisée, rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
6 Belgian endive, ends removed and thinly sliced into vertical strips
1 medium bosc or comice pear, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup crumbled Italian blue cheese like Gorgonzola Dolce Latte
1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard and lemon juice, and whisk to combine. Add the oil and whisk it in slowly until it is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Reserve.
2. Preheat the oven to
3. In a salad bowl combine the lettuce and endive with the pears and the toasted pecans. Arrange the blue cheese over the salad.
4. To serve, drizzle the vinaigrette over all and toss to mix well.
Advance Preparation: May be prepared up to 4 hours ahead through step 3, covered and refrigerated. The dressing can stay at room temperature.
Winter Salad Recipe, American Cuisine