Stinky Cheese Endive Salad

When Discover Endive sent me some California-grown endive to cook with, I was really excited. I mean, I love endive. It has a complex and bitter taste, not unlike radicchio, with a crunchy texture. Here’s the thing about endive – you don’t have to wash it! Once you trim it, it is good to go. It’s great with chopped liver, and would be delicious baked in a creamy gratin. As if those attributes weren’t enough it keeps in the fridge for like a week and a half. 
As a gal who has had to throw out more forgotten lettuce than I care to admit…I appreciate something that has staying power.
That’s what she said. 
This particular salad, though incredibly simple, is one of my favorites. No real measurements are required, but the combination of ingredients is incredibly lovely.
Unlike its rather juvenile name.
Stinky Cheese Endive Salad
Ingredients:
1 head endive
1 handful toasted pecans
stinky cheese (I use blue cheese, cambezola, or a soft truffle cheese – something really funky and soft)
Your favorite vinaigrette, extra heavy on the mustard
1) Remove the outermost leaves of the endive, which will likely be a little limp if you have kept the endive for a week or more. Throw them away, and cut off the bottom of the stem and toss it, too.
 2) Slice the endive into thin rings, and place it in a bowl.
3) Cube up your cheese. Like I said, the stinkier and softer the better. You really want something that almost gurgles when you unwrap it, something that is more pungent than what you might normally like. Truffle cheese is particularly delicious here, because it echos the earthy flavor of the endive. 
 Add that cheese to the bowl.
 4) Add the pecans to the bowl.
 5) Dress the salad.
6) Enjoy. Aren’t you sad you haven’t been eating endive all along? It is so delightfully crisp, with a velvety texture and pleasantly biting taste. It mixes perfectly with those naturally sweet pecans, bracing vinaigrette, and fatty cheese. It is simple, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This salad can even be made ahead of time – in a few hours, the endive will soften, but not become mushy. It will absorb the acid in the dressing, becoming a different vegetable altogether – mild and flexible, but still with a bit of chew. The strong flavors are the secrets here – very tart vinaigrette, very stinky cheese, very stiff endive. 
This salad just wouldn’t be the same with any other lettuce. 
*Disclaimer: This product was sent to me free of charge. I was not required to write about it, and my opinions are my own and, I feel, impartial*

Trackbacks

  1. […] special that day, this salad mimics one of my favorites. Bitter endive, creamy and sharp blue cheese, and a bright vinaigrette. The tangles of stiff frisee […]