Layers of endive topped with fresh dates, crumbled blue cheese, toasted walnuts and drizzled with a delicious Dijon vinaigrette.
To start the salad, preheat the oven to 350°F (175 °C).
Place the walnuts onto an un-greased tray and toast for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown. Once the walnuts are toasted, set aside to cool completely.
Peel and roughly chop the shallots. Place into a bowl. Add the mustard salt, white pepper, a pinch of sugar and the vinegar. Whisk everything together. Slowly whisk in the oil until everything is incorporated.
Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the flavor from the shallots to infuse the vinaigrette. Strain out the shallots. Taste for seasoning, add more salt if needed. Set aside at room temperature, until ready to serve.
To assemble the salad, start by gathering your plates and preparing all of the remaining ingredients.
Remove the seeds from the dates and slice into quarters. Crumble the blue cheese into small pieces. Cut the ends off the endive, and peel away the larger outer leaves. The smaller inside leaves you can save for another salad.
Working in layers, place two leaves onto a plate. Then place a few pieces of the dates, walnuts and blue cheese inside each leaf. Drizzle a little bit of the dressing over each leaf. Repeat with another layer: 2 endive leaves, dates, walnuts and blue cheese. Lastly, drizzle a bit more of the vinaigrette over top and finish with a little freshly-ground black pepper. Serve.
Belgian endive is a perfect canvas to bring together the wonderful and complementary flavors that will surprise and delight your family and guests.
This salad is best prepared last minute; otherwise, the endive will turn brown.