Position a rack in the center of an oven and heat the oven to 425°F.
In a small saucepan over high heat, reduce the pomegranate juice to about 1/4 cup (it should be syrupy), about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mash the goat cheese in a small bowl with a fork until smooth. Form the cheese into four 2-inch-diameter rounds. Put the hazelnuts on a small plate and press the goat cheese rounds into the nuts on all sides to coat. Transfer the cheese to a small baking sheet and bake until the nuts brown and the cheese softens, 8 to 10 minutes.
While the goat cheese bakes, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in a 12-inch heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the endives flat in the pan (they’ll fit snugly), sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, and cook, undisturbed, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side starts to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.
Melt the remaining 1 Tbs. butter in the skillet, add the apples and shallot, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and cook, shaking the pan often, until the apples start to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the pomegranate juice to a medium bowl. Add the vinegar, mustard, and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper; whisk until combined. Gradually whisk in the oil and season with more salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, toss the spinach and apples with half of the vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the endives on 4 large serving plates, top with a mound of the spinach mixture, and then the goat cheese. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds (if using) and the chives and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Serve.
nutrition information (per serving):
47, Fat Calories
420, Saturated Fat
12, Monounsaturated Fat
31, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips