Friday, September 26, 2008
Endive, Pear and Watercress Salad
From the Kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This recipe is loosely based on one developed by Thomas Keller about a decade ago. The ingredients are readily available, though the cost of Belgian endive and walnut oil may put the salad into the once-in-awhile category for some. I love the way the ingredients in this salad marry; endive adds crunch and texture while the bitter-sweet flavors of watercress and pear play on the tongue. Candied walnuts replace croutons and add a final fillip to this luscious salad. When you are looking for something special or want to pamper yourself, I'd recommend this elegant and easy to prepare salad.
Endive, Pear and Watercress Salad...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Thomas Keller
4 Belgian endives, halved lengthwise, cored, cut crosswise into thirds
2 small, firm, ripe Bartlet pears, peeled, cord, thinly sliced, cut crosswise into thirds
1 large bunch watercress or baby arugula, stems removed
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup walnut and sherry salad dressing (see below)
3/4 cup candied walnuts (see below)
1) Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons walnut and sherry salad dressing into a large salad bowl. Add endives, pears and water cress.
2) Toss just before serving. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; top with candied walnuts. Serve extra salad dressing at the table. Yield: 4 servings.
Walnut and Sherry Salad Dressing: Combine 3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons walnut oil in a shaker jar with lid. Shake to combine. Chill. Yield: 1/2 cup.
Candied Walnuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread 3/4 cup walnuts on a cookie sheet. Toast for 8 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons water. Add a pinch of cayenne and salt. Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar and toss to coat. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes , or until walnuts are brown and crisp. Transfer to a plate and cool in a single layer. Yield 3/4 cup.