Endives are part of the chicory family and have a gentle bitterness to them, which, in this recipe, is balanced by honey. Endive leaves are the perfect shape to carry salads, and we often eat this salad with our fingers using the leaves as large spoons. I’m a bit of a black pepper nut, so I like this with a twist of pepper to finish, but I’ve found in recent travels through Italy that many people prefer to omit pepper from delicate salads like this. I leave it up to you to make the choice. The softer Gorgonzola dolce works best here.–Katie Caldesi
LC Ecstatic Over Endive Note
Mother Nature is such a savvy hostess. We know this because stunning red endive leaves make the perfect platter-to-pie-hole vehicle for salad at cocktail parties. (We gotta say, we tend to get a little ecstatic over endive. In particular, over red endive. It’s not only bolder in color, but sweeter in flavor. Go on, try it. You’ll like it. It’s not as common in some parts of the country as its paler kin, so if you see it, snatch it up.)
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 10 M
- Serves 4
- 2 Belgian endives, rinsed well and patted dry
- 3 1/2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, preferably dolce
- 2 tablespoons good-quality runny honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- 1. Cut off the root ends from both endives and gently break apart the leaves, one by one, arranging them in a single layer on a platter or serving dish.
- 2. Crumble the cheese over the endive leaves, ensuring that each leaf gets an equal helping. Drizzle or dribble the honey over the salad, raising the spoon high over the dish in concentric circles to create a lovely cobweb effect. [Editor’s Note: While the crazy concentric dribble is stunning to behold, it’s slightly sticky to consume. If you actually like the people you’re inviting over for nibbles and would rather not see them squirm, just spoon a touch of honey over the cheese rather than all over the endive.] Drizzle the olive oil over the salad in a similar circular fashion. [Editor’s Note: Ditto.]
- 3. Just before serving, toast the pine nuts lightly in a dry skillet just until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes (be careful because they burn easily). Scatter them over the salad and serve immediately with a generous twist of black pepper, if desired.