Monday, January 9, 2012

Endive, Pear, and Roquefort Salad

Ina Garten was born and raised in my new county.  And she still lives quite close.  I also just got her cookbook, Barefoot in Paris, for Christmas.  So, I have been cooking a lot of Barefoot Contessa-esque meals.  I am into it.

I love salads.  I eat them as main dishes.  I add them to dinner when it needs that little bit of rounding out.  I bring them for lunch.  I order them at restaurants.

But, I feel like I have made just about every combination possible.  And anytime I see an idea that is even slightly different from something I already make, I just have to try it.  This salad recipe has two aspects I wanted to try:

1.  Belgian endive - what is that like?

2.  Egg yolk in the dressing.  I have been meaning to try such a thing in a non-Caesar dressing.

The fruit, nut, blue cheese combo is already one of my favorites.  I have recently been enjoying the very creamy, soft blue cheese.  It is usually labeled as some sort of Italian blue cheese, or the best kind I have tried, blue cheese made from goat's milk (obviously).  In other words, I didn't use Roquefort for this salad, but you can choose your favorite blue cheese.

For #1, the Belgian endive was a nice change.  It is not bitter at all, as I had expected it to be.  Probably slightly more bitter than something like Romaine, but I would say that I was more surprised by how clean and almost watery it tasted.  Juicy.

For #2, we all knew that would be delicious.  It is how you would make a Caesar dressing, but the flavors are much more subtle.  I did use a Champagne vinegar, which is really nice.  The yolk gives the dressing such body and makes it very creamy.  It is delicious.  And I am not responsible if you use dirty eggs.  

Endive, Pear, and Roquefort Salad
by Ina Garten, from Barefoot in Paris

4 to 6 heads of Belgian endive
1 1/2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
*1 egg yolk, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons good olive oil
2 ripe Bartlett pears, halved, cored, and sliced
1/4 pound good Roquefort cheese
1/2 cup toasted walnut halves

Trim off the core end of each head of endive and slice it in half lengthwise. Cut out the cores, separate the leaves, and place 1 1/2 to 2 heads of endive on each plate.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, egg yolk, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Toss the pears with some vinaigrette and place on the endive. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the endive leaves to moisten them. Crumble the Roquefort onto the endive. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve at room temperature.

*RAW EGG WARNING: Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs due to the slight risk of salmonella or other foodborne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.

(Servings: 6, Prep time: 20 min., Difficulty: Easy)

foodforscot Ratings:

Shanon (taste):  7/10
Scot (taste):  7/10
Effort:  1/5
Dishwashing Effort:  1/5

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