I developed this recipe a number of years ago when I was looking for vegetable options for party finger foods and hors d’eurves. So many finger foods are heavy with lots of bread, cheese and meat. These are light and refreshing, and hold up well to sitting out. Nothing to wilt here. The citrus provides a sweet and tangy zing. The pomegranate seeds provide a tart burst. The celery and endive provide and nice crisp crunch. The cranberries provide a chewy sweetness. Finally the pistachios add a bit of umami and even more texture. Salad does not have to be boring and eaten with a fork.
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: 10 – 12 people as appetizers
3-4 Belgian Endives, a mix of yellow and purple
1 orange, zest, supremes, and juice
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1-2 celery stalks, preferably from the smaller, innermost part, leaves are great too
1/4 cup chopped pistachios (or pecans)
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped, optional
Juice from the orange above, collected while cutting the supremes
1 lemon, zest and 1 tablespoon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (can be lemon or orange infused)
2 teaspoon honey, optional
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Salad spinner, it’s helpful
Medium to Large Bowl
Large serving platter
Wash all of the vegetables. Separate the Belgian endive leaves from one another and spin them dry in a salad spinner.
Separate the large endive leaves from the inner smallest ones. The large will be used as edible serving boats. The small leaves will be diced and added to the salad mix.
Finely dice the small, inner most Belgian endive leaves and add to the larger bowl.
Finely dice the celery and add it into the bowl with the diced endive leaves.
If you’re using dried cranberries, finely chop them and add them to the bowl with the celery and endive.
Add the 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds to the bowl.
Chop the 1/4 cup pistachios and set them aside,
Over the small bowl zest the orange. Cut the rind off the orange and supreme it (use a pairing knife to cut the segments out in between the membranes. Do this over the small dressing bowl to collect the extra juice. Once all the orange segments are cut out squeeze the membrane to extract the remaining juice.
Cut the orange segments into very small pieces and add them to the bowl with the chopped celery, endive, and pomegranate seeds.
Zest the lemon over the dressing bowl. Squeeze in about 1 tablespoon of juice.
Add 1-2 teaspoons honey into the small bowl with the citrus juices. Add in 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt.
Whisk the dressing to combine. Slowly drizzle in a 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, while whisking continuously.
Pour the dressing over the salad mix and toss to combine.
Place a spoonful of the salad into each endive serving boat, and arrange the filled endives onto the serving platter.
Sprinkle a bit of the chopped pistachios on top of each salad spoonful in the filled endives.
Filled endives can be made 2-3 hours in advance and chilled. Sprinkle the nuts on just before serving. Dressing can be made 1-2 days ahead, just store the orange segments in an airtight glass container.