Valentine’s Day….a day of hearts, chocolate and flowers. After having been to LA’s flower mart (several years ago) on a Valentine’s Day that fell on a Saturday, Craig was told NEVER to buy me flowers on that day. Since a dozen roses, at the florist, cost nearly $100 on that day…finding them at the market, that is the source for florists, at $10 a dozen was enough to send my head spinning.
So imagine my surprise when I received a box marked “perishable” just a couple of days before the 14th. Since Craig wasn’t even in the country, I couldn’t fathom what he could have sent. I opened the box to find it full of California endive (pronounced on-deev). There were a couple of trays of red and white endive and a large bouquet of endive tied with a red ribbon. The note accompanying the sweet treat was a Valentine from California Vegetable Specialties.
Most endive recipes, that you’re probably familiar with have the leaves served whole and either filled with something or are used in place of crackers with a dip. In this variation on your typical lettuce salad recipe, greens such as butter lettuce or played out romaine, are replaced with strips of white and red Belgian style endive and tossed with shreds of carrot and apple, and sweet pieces of white grapes further offsetting the slightly bitter endive. Toasted walnuts are sprinkled on top and it’s dressed with a sweet and tangy orange vinaigrette.
This endive salad is a visual treat with its bright colors and an exciting blend of contrasting flavors and crunchy texture. The sweetness of the carrots, tangy apples and juicy white grapes offset the subtle bitterness of the endive. The toasted walnuts give this endive salad even more crunch, just in case were concerned that there wasn’t enough.
Like many raw endive recipes, this salad takes less than 15 minutes to come together, and makes a beautiful first course salad for a lovely dinner party. If you add some crumbled goat cheese, it could easily make a light and flavorful dinner. Because all of the ingredients in this endive salad hold up well, you could pile this up on a platter, dressing and all, as part of a buffet. And you’ll never go back to that boring ol’ lettuce salad recipe you used to depend on.
Ten signs the guy you’re dating is a keeper:
- He doesn’t fart when you’re nose is anywhere near his butt (that includes the same floor of the house).
- Doesn’t leave hair trimmings (facial or otherwise) covering your bathroom surfaces.
- Is okay with cuddling after sex, or at least doesn’t grouse about it to the point that you’ve forgotten you just had an orgasm.
- He doesn’t call your boobs sweater meat, fun bags or anything of the sort.
- When he dances, he has more than the move where he grinds his manhood into your ass crack.
- If he’s at the store and you call to ask him to pick up some tampons he doesn’t freak out, he just grumbles and does it for you.
- He doesn’t claim he’s “just hanging with the guys” when he goes to a strip club, he just tells you that’s where they were.
- He doesn’t always accuse you of PMS’ing every time you’re in a bad mood.
- He asks for directions when he’s lost.
- He doesn’t introduce you as his friend, he introduces you by name…to everyone.
Endive Salad with an Orange Vinaigrette
Serves 4-6 as first course salads
- 3 Heads Endive (sliced lengthwise then chopped across into short strips)
- 1 Large Fuji Apple (grated)
- 1 Large Carrot (grated)
- 1 Handful Seedless Green Grapes (roughly chopped)
- 1 Handful Toasted Walnuts (chopped)
- 3 Tablespoons Blood Orange Gastrique (minus the vodka – see link for recipe)
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil (Extra Virgin is best)
- Sea Salt
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
In a medium size bowl combine chopped endive, apple, carrots and green grapes. Mix to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together.
Plate each salad, top with walnuts and drizzle with orange vinaigrette.
If you would like to add goat cheese, add the cheese crumbles to the top of the salads before drizzling with vinaigrette.