Note #1: The Saturday before Thanksgiving is grand timing for a party! We were feeling all geared up and festive but it was too soon to start cooking for Thanksgiving and way too soon to be (over)planning Christmas gatherings. So that night, four couples gathered for an "Alsatian Harvest Feast" – and did we ever feast! The meal was seven courses over five hours, each course better than the next. A charcuterie platter with two kinds of hand-made Alsatian sausage. Swiss and French raclette, warmed til melty on the stove in a small cast iron serving piece like this one. (I love it!) Chicken liver pate. Excellent homemade bread! Warm onion soup. A tiny serving of yogurt sorbet as a palate cleanser, topped with a spoonful of Schnapps! A stunning crown roast with homemade fresh sauerkraut. Alsatian white beans simmered in white wine. (That recipe you'll see soon!) This Endive & Apple Salad. An amazing cheese course, all from artisanal Wisconsin cheese producers. A wedge of a crispy pear tart with a smear of pear butter and whipped cream. Was that seven courses? Forgive me if I lost track.
Note #2: A completely make-ahead salad is a blessing! I mixed the dressing in the morning, then dressed the endive and apples in early afternoon, then put it aside to chill. It was good the first day, even better the second so I could have made the salad the day before! The mix of bitter greens (What Are Bitter Greens?) and sweet apple is a great combination and a welcome "simple salad" amid rich food. It would be great for a holiday buffet, a take-along potluck, etc. And yes, do make it ahead!
Note #3: Endive is way less expensive than I was thinking! At my grocery, it's $2.99 a pound but there's little waste.
Note #4: I adore this easy and festive appetizer using endive leaves as "boats" to hold fresh crab meat, see Mini Crab Bites.
RECIPE for EASY MAKE-AHEAD ENDIVE & APPLE SALAD
with CURRY VINAIGRETTE
Time to table: 20 minutes but improves if made at 2 - 24 hours ahead of time
Serves 4 (easily multiplie for a crowd)
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or another good-quality light-colored vinegar
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon good salt
Pinch white pepper
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon cream
ENDIVE & APPLE SALAD
3 endive, halved, cores remove and sliced in strips
1-1/2 apples, skins on, chopped small
CURRIED VINAIGRETTE In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, parsley, curry, sugar, salt and pepper. Whisking all the while, pour the olive oil into the bowl in a slow steady stream. Whisk in the cream.
ENDIVE & APPLE SALAD Toss the endive with about half the vinaigrette, the apples with the remainder. To serve, arrange the endive in the center of a serving plate, then surround it with apples.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
Make the vinaigrette first, even a couple of days ahead, so that when the endive and the apples have been cut, they can be tossed in the vinaigrette right away, this prevents the edges of the endive and the apples from turning brown.
You may not use all the vinaigrette, it's enough to "just wet" the endive and the apples, you don't want the dressing pooling in the serving plate.
For holiday gatherings, consider using part green apple and part red apple.
What's with the odd amount 1-1/2 apples??? When I made a double recipe to serve eight, 6 endive and 3 apples was a perfect balance. Use less, use more, whatever you like!
For prettiness, consider topping with a few fresh herbs, more parsley, say, or even fresh dill.
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MORE FAVORITE RECIPES for FESTIVE HOLIDAY SALADS
~ Swedish Pickled Beetroot Salad ~
~ Healthy Red & Green Green-Bean Salad ~
~ Festive Celery, Cauliflower and Apple Salad ~
~ more endive recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Festive Holiday Salad ~
~ Winter Fruit Salad ~
~ Christmas Chicken Salad ~
~ more Christmas recipes ~
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