endive salad with toasted breadcrumbs and walnuts – smitten kitchen

In the magazine, the dressing mixture of crumbs, nuts, cheese and vinaigrette is hidden below the leaves, like a surprise-inside salad. I show it this way in my photos but you can also toss the whole thing together in a bowl for more traditional salad serving, or, if making it for a party, keep the endive leaves whole and the dressing separate with a small spoon and let people heap it on to taste and eat it as finger food. I’ll be doing this very soon.

To make the fresh breadcrumbs, I go to my grocery store’s bakery section and buy one roll — whatever you want to eat;
this salad handles heartier bread such as a sourdough well. Cut off the crust, tear the bread into chunks and you’re set.

Mattos recommended 4 anchovies but I found 2 to be just right; adjust to your tastes.

To make this ahead: The dressing can be made with everything but the breadcrumbs and kept in the fridge for two days. Add the breadcrumbs closer to when you serve it.

Taleggio is a semisoft cheese with washed rind and one of my favorites; picture a firm brie.

  • 1/2 cup (55 grams or 2 ounces) raw walnuts
  • 1 cup (about 30 grams or 1 ounce) coarsely torn fresh breadcrumbs (see note)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 anchovies, packed in oil, drained, finely chopped (see note)
  • 1 clove garlic finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • About 1/4 cup (55 grams or 2 ounces) taleggio, into 1/2-inch pieces
  • About 1/4 cup (45 grams or 1.5 ounces) pecorino romano or parmesan, broken into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 endives, sliced crosswise 1-inch thick (as shown) or left in whole leaves (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar

Heat oven to 350°F. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until fragrant and slightly darker, 8–10 minutes. Let cool.

Toss breadcrumbs with 1 to 2 tablespoons oil and spread on baking sheet; season with salt and bake, tossing once, until deep golden brown, anywhere from 6 to 12 minutes, so check on the early side. Let cool.

In a medium bowl, mix anchovies, garlic, red wine vinegar, and 4 tablespoons olive oil just to combine; season with salt and pepper, then add walnuts, breadcrumbs, and both types of cheese and stir to combine.

Mix endive with orange zest, orange juice, and white wine vinegar in another medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.

To serve as shown: Spread walnut dressing out on one large salad platter or individual plates. Top with endive.

To serve as finger food, with whole leaves: Pile the dressed leaves on a platter. Place the walnut dressing in a bowl with a small spoon and encourage people to spoon it onto each leaf “boat” before eating it.

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