Witlof, Blue Cheese & Pear Salad
Author Suzy Ashford’s book La Picnic has me thinking about outdoor dining and warm weather in spite of this cold spell. The self-taught chef and food writer reimagines outdoor lunching in this brilliant little book. Rather than an unexciting sandwich or a flask of tea, why not pack a bacon-and-leek quiche or cherry-tomato tartlets for your next outing? And there is no need to wait for summer; these recipes are perfect for the dinner table too.
I particularly love this Witlof, Blue Cheese and Pear Salad. This simple recipe brings together the perfect elements of crunchy, creamy, savory, and sweet. Witloof is a Dutch name that translates as white leaf. Witloof is also known as chicory, endive or Belgium endive.
The name of this vegetable can be confusing. In New Zealand it is called either witloof or chicory. However, the British call it chicory and the French call it endive or Belgium endive. There is also a type of lettuce that the French call chicory and is known as endive in Britain and New Zealand. Witloof has a slightly bitter and nutty flavour. The roots in some strains can be used as a coffee substitute. These leaves certainly add an interesting color and taste to winter salads.
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Radicchio is a red-leafed variety of witloof. It adds an interesting color and taste to winter salads.
1 cup walnuts
1 Williams pear, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
7 oz roquefort, gorgonzola or a fragrant blue cheese
2 red witlof (chicory) or radicchio, leaves separated
¼ head of frisée or curly endive lettuce, leaves torn
1 garlic clove, crushed
¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the walnuts on a baking tray and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the nuts to cool.
In a salad bowl toss the the sliced pears with a teaspoon of lemon juice. Crumble in the cheese and add the walnuts, witlof and frisée.
To make the dressing, add the garlic and salt to a mixing bowl. Using the back of a teaspoon, blend to a paste. Add the mustard and lemon juice and combine well, using a whisk. Whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream until the dressing thickens.
Add the dressing tot he salad and toss gently to coat the leaves in the dressing. Serve right away.
If taking on a picnic, transfer to a small screw top jar for safe transport. Pack the other ingredients separately. This salad is best assembled at the picnic site, just before serving.
- Category: Salad
Keywords: Witlof, Blue Cheese & Pear Salad