Roasted fennel adds a nice twist to this salad. The Belgian endive has a slightly bitter note, which is offset by the apple. This is one of those salads that looks best served on a large platter rather than from a salad bowl. It also helps the chunkier ingredients from sinking to the bottom and getting lost. If your fennel bulbs still have the feathery tops, save a few fronds to garnish the salad. I also like to garnish the platter with a few of the outer leaves of the Belgian endive.
During the class we never got a photo of the salad—I think it was gobbled up before the photographer even got a chance to shoot it. But you can see me prepping the ingredients above, with the feathery fennel fronds reserved for garnishing the platter.
Salad with Apple, Endive and Roasted Fennel
4 bulbs of fennel, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2-4 Belgian endive, cored and sliced horizontally into rings
2 small apples (Pink Lady or any tart and crisp variety will work)
1 head of lettuce or a 8-ounce bag of mixed greens
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon mustard
1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees with a large baking sheet on the lower rack. In a medium bowl toss the sliced fennel with some olive oil, salt and pepper to coat it.
2. When the oven is ready, pull out the baking sheet and add the fennel in one layer. Be careful when handling the pan, it will be very hot. Roast for about 10 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven and toss in the same bowl that you used to toss it with olive oil. Let the fennel cool to room temperature.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil with the vinegar and mustard. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Add about half of the dressing to the roasted fennel and set aside.
4. Core and chop the apple into small chunks, leaving the skin on. Add to the roasted fennel along with the chopped endive and mix gently to coat the ingredients with the dressing.
5. In a large bowl toss the greens with the remaining dressing and then arrange on a large platter. Add the fennel, endive and apple on top. Sprinkle with the walnuts.