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Endive and Apple Salad with Warm Goat Cheese

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 113

Crisp and somewhat bitter when raw, Belgian endive develops a mellow, slightly nutty flavor when cooked. Pair it with sautéed apples, rounds of hazelnut-coated goat cheese, and a sweet-tart dressing for a salad that’s sure to become a weeknight favorite.

  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 6 oz. goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 large Belgian endives, halved lengthwise with core left intact, each half cut lengthwise into 4 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 firm, medium-sweet apples (like Fuji or Honeycrisp), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium shallot, finely diced (about 3 Tbs.)
  • 1 Tbs. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. (4 lightly packed cups) baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)
  • 2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
Tip:
Pomegranate juice is availble in most grocery stores, and you can use the simple glaze from this recipe on grilled chicken or as a syrup for cocktails.

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):
Calories (kcal): 570; Fat (g): fat g 47; Fat Calories (kcal): 420; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 15; Protein (g): protein g 12; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 26; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 31; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 590; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 40; Fiber (g): fiber g 6;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was the hit of a recent dinner party. I served the salad with individual Maytag Bleu Cheese souffles. Made a few changes: I used 2 cups of pomegranate juice, reduced, instead of the one cup in the recipe. I also added a bit more Dijon and a little more cider vinegar. I coarsely chopped and toasted some hazelnuts and sprinkled those over the salad with the chives and pomegranate seeds. Next time I would only use 1 tablespoon of butter to cook the endive (rather than the 2 tablespoons in the recipe). For greens I used about 2 cups baby spinach leaves, one cup watercress and 1 cup chopped radicchio. The bitterness offset the sweetness of the apple and dressing and gave the salad a bit more color.

Superb, flavorful, abundant. Pretty for Holidays and entertaining.

Delicious! Loved all of the flavors and texture. The dressing was a little to bland and oily so I added a little more cider vinegar and mustard. After a little tweaking , it was just right. A repeat for sure.

Loved, loved, loved this salad. The combination of flavors is fantastic - plus everything is better with goat cheese! Turned out I didn't have hazelnuts on hand so substituted slivered almonds with excellent results. Tip on seeding a pomegranate...cut it along the "equator", fill a large bowl with cold water and seed it under water, breaking it apart and dislodging the seeds gently with your thumb. The seeds with fall to the bottom and the membrane will float to the top for easy removal. Will definitely be making this many more times.

Terrific combination of flavors... we all loved it. Actually easy to make... once you make it the first time. I added a bit of the salad dressing to the apples while I sauted them which I think enhanced the great flavor of the shallots. The chopped hazelnuts on the goat cheese gave a new taste. EVERYone cleaned their plates! SMall tip..just let the goat cheese soften..then form it and roll in the nuts.

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