This post is not about a recipe per se, but more about how to create different looking dishes by using the very same ingredients.
The basic combination I’ve used – blue cheese dressing, apples and walnuts – is classic for a good reason, as they match so wonderfully in flavor and texture.
To these I’ve added beautiful golden Belgian endive, which added delicate flavor and crispy texture. A drizzle of honey adds just the right amount of sweetness, to balance the saltiness of the cheese.
Once you gather all the ingredients, you can choose which one of the serving options is suitable for your purpose. I’m sure you’ll enjoy each one once you’ll try them.
* When buying Belgian endive, buy only ones that are pale yellow in color and keep them away from light. Green ones were exposed to light and will be bitter.
* If you plan to slice the apples beforehand, drizzle the slices with fresh lemon juice, to prevent browning.
* Other nuts can be used instead of the walnuts.
* While the ingredients can be prepared beforehand, assemble the dishes as close to serving as possible.
* Leftover dressing is wonderful as a dip for crackers, celery sticks, or Buffalo chicken wings.
Prep time: 15 minutes
For the blue cheese dressing:
4.5 oz (125 grams) blue cheese (preferably Roquefort or Gorgonzola), crumbled
1 cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
In a bowl, mix all the ingredients with a fork to a thick dressing. (I like to keep some blue cheese lumps in. If you prefer smoother texture, blend it in a food processor.)
The dressing can be made up to a day in advance. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving.
For the different serving options:
Separate the leaves of 1 endive, and cut the bottoms into spears. Fill the endive “boats” with teaspoons of the blue cheese dressing, scatter small cubes from ½ crisp red apple, ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese and a handful of slightly toasted walnuts on top. Drizzle with 2 tsp honey and serve. Wonderful option for passing around in finger food party or part of brunch buffet.
Half and core 1 crisp red apple and slice thick. Cut 1 endive into 4, lengthwise. Arrange the blue cheese dressing on a serving plate. Place the apple slices on the side and the cut endive on top. Add 1/3 cup slightly toasted walnuts on both sides. Scatter ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese on top, drizzle 2 tsp honey on top and serve. This option is great as part of brunch buffet selection.
Roughly cut 1 endive and 1 crisp red apple. Mix with washed and dried leaves from ½ head of red lettuce. Add blue cheese dressing and a handful of lightly toasted walnuts and mix lightly. Drizzle with 2 tsp of honey and serve. Perfect for lunch.