I made this salad as part of our Wednesday night dinner (with Anneliese) to go with braised beef short ribs and buttered egg noodles. The crunchy bitterness of the endive and tang of the navel and blood oranges were a perfect foil for the richness of the braised short ribs. The few nuggets of stilton also worked well with the beef and the toasted pecans were tossed in just because I happen to like them in this salad. I love the way the orange segments look like little jewels and these may well be the last blood oranges of the season.
I’m not sure that the sprig of green parsley, perched like a flag atop Everest, really works in this photo but it was nearing 6 pm and the light was fading and so, there it is. Flavour-wise a hit of parsley is a good thing here but you might want to chop it up and spread it around a bit.
I will post the recipe for the short ribs in the next few days. They still feel right during these cool pre-spring evenings but may not for long…
Endive Salad with Citrus, Stilton and Toasted Pecans
Feel free to use a mixture of citrus fruits. Pink grapefruit, blood oranges, even a Meyer lemon in the mix would work here.
9 to 12 medium heads of Belgian endive
3 tablespoons of champagne vinegar or sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons of grainy mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 cup grape seed or vegetable oil
1/2 lb. Stilton cheese
5 oranges (or grapefruits, or blood oranges…), peeled and segmented
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Trim off the core end of each head of endive and separate out the leaves continuing to cut the core in order to facilitate leaf separation. Set endive aside in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl. whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and grape seed oil to make an emulsion. Toss the endive spears with the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.
Stack 1-1/2 to 2 endive heads onto each plate and tuck the orange segments and Stilton into and around the endive spears. Sprinkle with pecans and serve at room temperature.