|Endive, one of the other quintessentially French salad ingredients.|
Like the céleri rémoulade and the carottes rapées from last week,endive salads — and I cannot tell you how many riffs there are on the theme — are about as every day French as you can get.
I have no idea how many endive salads, and how many different versions of same we eat in a year, at least 30, maybe more. Some are five minute simple, others are more complicated because the ingredients added to the endive take time.
Tonight I had the simplest version, which is one of the ways I usually make the salad at home.
My daughter and other American friends tell me it’s not necessarily easy to find endive in super markets which seems odd to me because they are everywhere here and very reasonably priced.
|Remove outside leaves.|
On the outside chance that you don’t tend to buy endives, a simple tip: they should be crisp and a bright, light green/white. If your grocer has Belgian endive, the tips should be a pale, pale yellow-green color. Like all salad “greens” they should look fresh and inviting.
|Cut off the end.|
Before preparing them, rinse in a colander under cold water, peel off the outside leaves, cut off the bottom and scoop out the inside core (see picture). Now simply chop, chop, chop from the bottom up.
|When the bottom core is scooped out, so is any bitterness that the endive might have.|
You can use your favorite homemade vinaigrette, but a nice twist for this salad is to add orange juice to the dressing. You know the basic recipe for vinaigrette (the low-cal version): one measure of vinegar of your choice or lemon juice if you prefer, two measures of oil (usually olive oil) and one measure of sparkling water which replaces the third measure of oil, mustard and salt.
|Et voila, now you have your salad.|
Let’s say you are using a tablespoon as your measure for your basic ingredients, although it could be half cups or cups depending upon the quantity you want. OK, for the vinegar, instead of one tablespoon, substitute two teaspoons of orange juice and one of vinegar. One tablespoon equals three teaspoons.
In this dressing you really want a nice mustard to give it character.
Now, simply place your endives in a pretty salad bowl, dress with your vinaigrette and top with crumbled blue cheese and chopped walnuts.
I’ll tell you about another endive salad tomorrow.
Ed. Note: My appointment with the rehab dietician was cancelled today. I’m waiting for her to reschedule. I’ll keep you au courant.