Endive Salad with Blood Orange, Avocado and Radish

by Jenn on January 31, 2010

in Dairy Free,Diabetic Friendly,Meats,Salads,Vegetarian

_PAG3541endive

Winter is the season for endives (pronounced ahn-deev in French), and nothing could have said that more than their prevalence at every single stand at the market last weekend.  Red ones, white ones, Belgian endives are totally in their prime right now.  They are a crunchy and slightly bitter salad green whose flavor pairs well with a variety of foods.  I particularly like to match them with the sweetly acidic blood orange, also in season right now.

My husband and I literally created the idea for this salad as we were perusing the fresh produce stands in the city center.  I saw beautiful Belgian endives, and though my husband was at first a little skeptical, agreed to humor me that this would turn out well.  I bought them from my favorite vendor, who is a middle-aged woman that each week very politely and patiently helps me out with my lack of French while I ask her the names of each kind of produce I buy.  Last week I learned that leeks are called “poireaux” and she called curly endive “salade Lyonnaise“.  Not only is she helpful, but her produce is exquisite.  Living here I feel like I am learning how to taste and eat food for the first time all over again, finding out that there are foods I never knew I was in love with, and others that I am falling more in love with than I ever imagined.

For example, consider the radish.  Oft neglected, at least in my experience, this colorful root vegetable can be quite bitter and require teeth of steel to bite into.  At least that is my memory from say around 15 years ago, as I am sure that was the last time I had ventured to eat radishes.  Maybe it was just an unfairly biased viewpoint I held, but now I cannot get enough of them.  I love the crunch they have and am not turned off by the bitterness at all.  Maybe they really are different here, or maybe it was just the right time in my life to rediscover this great veggie.  Either way, I am now officially a fan of radishes.

So this salad is blend of all sorts of things, containing a contrast in flavors and textures all at once for the tongue to dance upon, with just a very light dressing to tie it all together.  I love how the color of such a dish can cheer up an entire room, even in the dead of winter on these grey days.  Such brightness speaks of the yearning for warm sunny spring days hopefully soon to come.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacy January 31, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Love the contrasting colors and textures.

Try braising the radishes. I had some left from my CSA and didn’t want cold food, so I found a recipe and cooked them, and they were so tasty!

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Stacy January 31, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Love the contrasting colors and textures.

Try braising the radishes. I had some left from my CSA and didn’t want cold food, so I found a recipe and cooked them, and they were so tasty!

Reply

Kristi Rimkus February 1, 2010 at 12:46 am

This is such a pretty salad. My son’s girlfriend will love it. I’m passing it along to her too.

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Kristi Rimkus February 1, 2010 at 12:46 am

This is such a pretty salad. My son’s girlfriend will love it. I’m passing it along to her too.

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Kyle February 1, 2010 at 4:21 am

gorgeous photo! Bravo!!

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Kyle February 1, 2010 at 4:21 am

gorgeous photo! Bravo!!

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Valérie February 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm

It’s funny, I’ve always loved radishes, but I’m only just starting to accept endives (and I’m Belgian, so that’s a big problem). I can actually enjoy them raw (such as in this lovely salad of yours), or caramelized, but braised endives are still a challenge for me. But this fresh salad definitely looks like something I would like!

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Valérie February 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm

It’s funny, I’ve always loved radishes, but I’m only just starting to accept endives (and I’m Belgian, so that’s a big problem). I can actually enjoy them raw (such as in this lovely salad of yours), or caramelized, but braised endives are still a challenge for me. But this fresh salad definitely looks like something I would like!

Reply

Alta February 4, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Wow, what a gorgeous salad. Such lovely bright colors. Yum.

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Alta February 4, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Wow, what a gorgeous salad. Such lovely bright colors. Yum.

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Eva March 6, 2010 at 10:15 pm

That salad looks awesome. I’m looking forward to doing something like this with fresh veggies from my garden in a month or so hopefully.

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Eva March 6, 2010 at 10:15 pm

That salad looks awesome. I’m looking forward to doing something like this with fresh veggies from my garden in a month or so hopefully.

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Frank ben hamlin November 25, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Yum….I can’t wait to try this salad. I think its really going to impress the fam!

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Jenn November 27, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Thanks, I hope your family enjoys it!

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