Figs and Purple Endive Salad with Currant Dressing
Grilling endive caramelizes the leaves and takes away some of its bitter edge. Sweet figs, bold blue cheese and tart currant-orange dressing complete this salad, which is delicious served with a Pinot Noir or other earthy red wine.
For the currant dressing:
- 2 Tbs. dried currants
- 2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbs. pine nuts (optional)
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 6 ripe but firm purple figs, halved
- 2 large heads purple-tipped Belgian endive, cores intact, halved
or quartered lengthwise
- 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbs. crumbled blue cheese
Prepare a medium fire in a grill.
In a microwavable bowl, combine the currants and orange juice. Cover and microwave on “high” for 1 minute.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and a few grindings of pepper. Stir in the currant mixture. Let the dressing stand for 15 minutes.
In a small, dry fry pan over medium-low heat, toast the pine nuts, stirring, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour onto a plate.
In a bowl, combine the fennel, figs, endive, olive oil and lemon juice and toss to coat evenly. Put the fennel, figs and endive in a grill basket and grill, turning often, until the vegetables are wilted and the figs are softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the dressing and toss gently to mix. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Garnish with the cheese and pine nuts and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Salad of the Day, by Georgeanne Brennan (Weldon Owen, 2012).