Thursday, August 7, 2008
Lettuce-less Salad with Divine Dressing
This is derived from a salad I've had in many French bistros. All veggies should be very fresh and of course, washed and dried thoroughly.
1 large bulb fennel, diced
2 heads endive, halved lengthwise and then sliced thinly
1 head endive, leaves separated for serving
grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/3 cup broken walnuts
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 firm pear
(if you do not have a good pear, you can use 1/2 an English cucumber, cut into coins and then quartered, it will give the same cooling, neutralizing effect)
2 tbs warmed honey
1 tbs country dijon mustard
small handful fresh parsley, minced
1/4 c. olive oil
about 3 tbs canola oil
1/3 c. rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp white wine
salt & pepper
First, heat the honey so it is easier to incorporate into the dressing. Whisk it together with the rest of the dressing ingredients. It should be thin, sweet and slightly tart from the wine & vinegar. Let stand on the counter for a couple of hours so the flavors meld.
Peel and quarter pear and remove center and seeds. Slice each quarter on an angle so you get bite-size pieces that are about 1/4 inch thick. Grill the raw pear slices in your toaster oven about 2 minutes per side. If you are in a rush, don't bother to grill it, raw is delicious too.
Chop fennel, tomatoes, and endive as directed above and toss with walnuts, pear slices, parsley, and dressing. Arrange 5 whole endive leaves on plate in a star pattern, leaving a space in the center, and fill each leaf with dressed salad. Mound additional salad in center of star. Garnish with blue cheese crumbles.