Endive, Apple and Blue Cheese Salad with Smoked Almonds

Iceberg, Boston, bibb, romaine, leaf…the list goes on with all the different kinds of lettuce you can use to make a salad. That said, I still get bored and sometimes want something a little different. Enter endive, which is a tightly packed lettuce that is small but tasty, featuring a crisp texture, a slightly nutty flavor and mild bitterness. It’s a lettuce that can be served raw or cooked and many times, you’ll see its leaves used as an appetizer.

For this recipe, we combined the bitterness of the endive with the sweet and tart flavor of a Granny Smith apple, creamy blue cheese and smoked almonds. We brought in ingredients that complemented the complexity of flavors found within the endive. What you end up with is an Endive, Apple and Blue Cheese Salad with Smoked Almonds that makes for an easy side any day of the week. And the recipe couldn’t be easier as it takes no time to bring everything together.

To start, make your vinaigrette by whisking together the vinegar, mustard, sugar and shallot with the Mix-Stir. Gradually add the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. This is a dressing you could really use for any salad, especially salads that will accompany either chicken or pork.

To prepare the endive, I used the 5" Petite Santoku knife to cut the tip and core-end from the lettuce. Depending on the size of the endive, you could also use the 7" Santoku, but our lettuce was very small so the 5" Petite Santoku was the perfect knife for the job. I then cut the endive into long strips. Our handy infographic, How to Cut Endive for Salad will take you through a step-by-step process of how to cut it for this salad.

Using the same 5" Petite Santoku, I cut the Granny Smith apples into small strips, also known as julienne. Note that you don’t need to peel the apple and, in fact, we recommend you don’t as this adds some nice bright green color to the salad and extra crunch.

Cutting the apple with a Petite Chef.

Once all of the cutting is done, gently toss the endive, apples, blue cheese and almonds together, season with salt and pepper and drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Sprinkle some chives over the top and you have a finished salad that is just a little different from your everyday variety.

This Endive, Apple and Blue Cheese Salad with Smoked Almonds is the perfect easy side for any meal. If you can find endive with the purple-edged leaves, that will give you even more color to the salad for a beautiful overall presentation. The taste of this salad is lovely, with a hint of bitterness that works well with the creamy blue cheese and smoky almonds. While it won’t be my salad for every day, it’s definitely something different to add to my rotation.

Endive, Apple and Blue Cheese Salad

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Ingredients

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad:

  • 4 medium Belgian endive, cut lengthwise into large strips
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, julienned
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 3/4 cup smoked almonds
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped

Directions

Prepare the vinaigrette:

  1. Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, sugar and the shallot in small bowl.
  2. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Prepare the salad:

  1. In a large bowl combine the endive, apples, blue cheese and almonds and toss gently to combine.
  2. Season the salad with salt and pepper.
  3. Gently drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad mixture, keeping 1/3 of the dressing on reserve (you want to lightly coat the salad).
  4. Toss the salad and if additional dressing is needed, drizzle some more and sprinkle with chives.

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