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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Endive Salad with Prosciutto Recipe

Growing up I ate a green salad pretty much every night with dinner. In Italy, we did the same, though it was served at the end of the meal. These days, I find it hard to convince my other half to eat salad. My solution is to make main dish salads. This one uses Belgian endive and is easy to make for one or a group. It has many delicious things added to a base of endive and fennel, namely candied walnuts, fresh mozzarella and prosciutto.

Endive and fennel just seem to have a natural affinity for one another. Both are crisp, but fennel has a chewier  texture and a sweetness, while endive is lighter and juicier and has a slightly bitter edge. You could use them to make a simple side salad but this one has lots of goodies to make it a main dish. Use a Champagne vinaigrette or a Dijon mustard vinaigrette to dress it. Or even just lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.

One of the tricks to this salad is that one thin slice of prosciutto pulled into shreds adds loads of flavor. If you have jamon de Bellota, by all means use it. That's what I originally used in this salad. Just be sure to add it at the very last minute. Make extra candied walnuts, they are terrific for snacking.

Endive Salad with Prosciutto
One serving

1 Belgian endive, sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh fennel
1/4 cup diced fresh mozzarella
1 slice prosciutto, shredded into about 5 thin strips
2 Tablespoons walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Pinch salt

Make the candied walnuts by very gently heating the walnuts, sugar and salt in a non-stick skillet until the sugar melts and the walnuts toast. Swirl the pan so the sugar sticks to the nuts. Set aside and let cool while assembling the salad.

In a salad bowl toss the endive and fennel with a couple tablespoons of dressing. Place the salad on a plate and top with the mozzarella, walnuts and the prosciutto.


Disclaimer: My thanks to California Endive Farms for providing me with a generous sample of endive to use. I also wrote about endive on