Recipes from étoile
Belgian Endive with Asian Pear, Spiced Pecans, and Walnut Vinaigrette
This is a refreshingly different salad that holds myriad flavors in its bowl. Asian pear and fennel lend a slightly exotic note, highlighted by crunchy Spiced Pecans. If you can’t find the firm, mild Asian pear, substitute a Bosc pear. Make the pecans in advance; they require 15 minutes in the oven and about the same amount of time to cool down. You’ll have extra nuts, which you can use for snacks or to serve guests as a simple appetizer on their own.
Showing just a hint of sweetness, this first course would pair easily with an off-dry sparkling wine such as Chandon Extra-Dry Riche. Fruity still wines like Riesling and Gewürztraminer match well here, too.
2 tbsp toasted walnut oil
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Champagne or white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Leaves from 3 Belgian endives
1 head frisée lettuce, cored and coarsely chopped
1 fennel bulb, core and stalks removed, cut into thin rounds
1 Asian pear, cored and cut into matchsticks about 1/4 in/6 mm thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper (optional)
1/3 cup/40 g Spiced Pecans
In a large salad bowl, combine the walnut oil, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, shallot, and garlic. Stir until the vinaigrette thickens and all the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
Add the endives/chicory, frisée, fennel, and pear to the bowl. Toss gently until evenly coated with the vinaigrette. If desired, season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among 4 salad plates and garnish with the pecans. Serve at once.
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