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Belgian Endive, Apple and Walnut Salad

Rich-tasting walnut oil adds a distinctive flavor to the dressing for this autumn salad, and it also reinforces the natural character of the walnut meats. Nut oils contain heart-healthy fats, but should be consumed in modest amounts. Use them in favorite salad dressings, on cooked vegetables or on baked potatoes. Nut oils easily become rancid, so make sure the oil you purchase is fresh. If you are unable to find red-leaf Belgian endive, use the yellow variety.

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 red-leaf Belgian endive heads, 1/2 to 3/4 lb. total
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil 
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 
  • 2 tsp. walnut oil 
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest 
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts  
  • 1 each small Granny Smith apple, Braeburn apple and Golden Delicious apple 
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill 

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the Belgian endive with ice water to cover and let stand for 20 minutes to crisp. Drain and pat dry. Pull the leaves from the heads, trimming the bases as needed to release them. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the canola oil, lemon juice, walnut oil, lemon zest and salt until blended.

In a small, dry fry pan over low heat, toast the walnuts, stirring occasionally, until warmed and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate.

Quarter each apple, trim away the core and then cut into very thin wedges. Add the apple wedges, endive leaves and dill to the dressing and toss to mix.

Divide the salad among individual bowls or plates and sprinkle with the toasted walnuts. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).