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Endive and Watercress Salad with Apples and Herbs

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 114

In this refreshing salad, cool, crisp endive and apple pair well with peppery watercress and tangy lemon-shallot dressing. Fresh chervil, parsley, tarragon, and chives—a classic French herb mixture known as fines herbes—add extra brightness.

  • 4 medium heads Belgian endive (about 1 lb. total) 
  • 1 medium shallot, finely diced (1/3 cup) 
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more as needed 
  • 1 Tbs. white wine vinegar; more as needed 
  • Kosher salt 
  • 6 Tbs. heavy cream 
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 bunch watercress (about 4 oz.), thick stems trimmed, cut into 3-inch sprigs (5 cups)  
  • 1 large, crisp apple such as Pink Lady, Sierra Beauty, or Granny Smith, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh tarragon 
  • 1 Tbs. chives, cut at an angle into 1/4-inch lengths
  • 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh chervil (optional)   
  • 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
  • 1/3 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped 

Pluck off any bruised or damaged outer leaves from the endives and then cut the heads in half lengthwise through the root ends. Holding your knife at an angle, cut the endives crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices. Discard the root ends. 

Combine the shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk in the cream and olive oil, and season with a few grinds of pepper. Taste with a piece of endive and season the vinaigrette with more lemon juice, vinegar, or salt if necessary. Set aside. 

Put the endives, watercress, apple, tarragon, chives, chervil (if using), and parsley (if using) in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss the salad with just enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat. Season to taste with more salt if necessary. Gently transfer the salad to a platter or individual serving plates. Scatter the almonds on top and serve, passing any remaining vinaigrette at the table. 

Variations

Make this a meal by serving  seared, sliced chicken breast along with the salad.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 190; Fat (g): fat g 14; Fat Calories (kcal): 120; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 3.5; Protein (g): protein g 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 16; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 90; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 15; Fiber (g): fiber g 6;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is a fantastic salad. Best done with small watercress.

A great salad. I skipped the almonds and instead added small goat cheese balls rolled in finely chopped pistachios & cranberries.

This Endive Watercress Salad was delightful. I sometimes struggle with the bitter greens and cleaning Watercress to get to the good pieces, but not this time, it was well worth it. It has just the right amount of sweet crunchy flavors mixed with a light bitter richness. I added a little small amount of good french mustard to the dressing for some extra zing.

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