Last Sunday was such a beautiful autumn day. With 34 degrees, sunshine and blue skies it felt more like mid summer than autumn, actually. A good reason for an ‘end of summer celebration’ lunch with friends! One of the dishes the Other Half and myself made is this happy chicory summer salad. Being Dutch from origine, in our kitchen and food habits our Belgium ‘neighbours’ always had and will have their influences. Belgium endives, or chicory, is (okay next to Belgium waffles and thick fries) my favourite ingredient from their kitchen. Oh, and of course Bruxelles sprouts. Delicious! As a child I didn’t like the taste of chicory, or Bruxelles sprouts – way too bitter for most children. But now I love it! The traditional way to prepare Belgium endives is in the oven, wrapped with cooked ham and covered with a thick layer of cheese sauce and some extra grated cheese. A good dish during winter time; as side dish, or just as simple week-day supper. But to be honest, for me chicory is the best in a salad! Raw. Fresh, light, delicious. When we just moved to SA, it was difficult to find chicory and often very expensive. Today you will find this product more and more easily in the South African supermarkets like PnP or Woolworths. Today I will share this chicory salad recipe with you.
Serves 4-6 as side
3-4 Belgium endives
1 grapefruit or orange, cleaned and divided in nice parts
75-100 gram blue cheese (or feta)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin mixed with some orange or grapefruit juice
45 gram walnuts or pecan nuts, dry roasted and roughly chopped
fresh black pepper
Clean the Belgium endives and peel off the leaves. Cut in long pieces and cut out the hearts. They can be a bit hard. Divide the endives on a big flat bowl/serving plate. Cut/slice the radices in very thin slices, place in some ice water for a few minutes (they crisp up nicely then), dry and divide over the endives. From the orange/grapefruit you only need the parts, not the white. With a sharp knife you can easily segment the pulp of the fruit. Work above a little bowl so you can keep the juice for the dressing. Mix the olive oil, (saved) grapefruit/orange juice, pepper and salt together to a dressing and sprinkle over the salad. Add some roasted walnuts/pecan nuts and some blue cheese (or feta if you don’t like blue cheese). That’s all you need to do for this delicious salad. Bon appétit!