Next in my series of Thanksgiving countdown recipes is an Apple Endive Salad. Salad isn’t usually a big hit on the Thanksgiving table. In fact when I was growing up, the only salad you’d see at Thanksgiving was a nasty lime green jello salad with completely unidentifiable things floating in it. I realize that some people have fond childhood memories of certain holiday foods, but for the life of me, I do not understand the appeal of a jello salad. Why is it even called a salad? Bits of canned fruit and possibly mini marshmallows wrapped up in a mass of green jiggly goo are considered a salad? Now, I’m sure some fabulously famous chef will someday reinterpret the jello salad and it will become wildly popular. But until that day, I offer you another option for your Thanksgiving table.
This Apple Endive Salad is beautiful, tasty and easy, and because it doesn’t have greens, it can be dressed and left to sit on the buffet table without turning into a wilted mess. (I think there are some people who wish they had all these attributes!)
Apple Endive Salad
2 tart apples (Jonagolds, Macintosh or your favorite local apples)
Juice of half a lemon
7 Belgian endives
2 stalks of celery
1/2 walnuts (or pecans or your favorite nut)
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Core and dice the apples, squeeze some lemon juice over them to keep them from turning brown while you prepare the rest of the salad. Trim the bottoms off the endive and reserve enough of the outer leaves to put in a ring around the platter you are going to serve the salad on. The slice the endive into rings. Dice the celery.
2. Toast the walnuts or other nuts on a cookie sheet in a 300 degree oven for about 3 minutes, or just until lightly brown. Chop them coarsely.
3. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and add salt and pepper to taste.
4. In a large bowl, combine the apples, chopped endive, celery and walnuts and toss with the dressing. Put the salad in the middle of a platter with the reserved outer leaves of the endive ringing the rim, with their tips pointing to the outside. If you like, you can get creative and alternate red endive with the pale green endive.
Serves plenty as part of a holiday buffet.