Hartford Courant

Bright, refreshing salad can be memorable end to meal

- By Diane Rossen Worthingto­n

Sometimes I crave a simple salad that’s full of flavor with few ingredient­s. This recipe was inspired by a salad I enjoyed at Terra in Century City, California. White and red Belgian endive leaves along with light green baby gem leaves were combined with thin, crisp pear crescents and creamy blue cheese crumbles. All this was tossed together with a bright chivelemon dressing. I love the rustic look of the presentati­on.

This salad is good as a starter or a finale for a meal. I’ve served it both ways. Serving this after the main course is refreshing and cleanses the palate.

Baby gem lettuce has become widely available at supermarke­ts. It’s a cross between romaine and butter lettuce, with


Makes: 4 servings

3 baby gem heads of lettuce, root removed, cleaned, leaves left whole or 2 romaine heads, white and light green parts only, cut into 2-inch pieces

3 Belgian endives, cleaned, root removed and sliced vertically or left whole

1 Bosc, Comice or Anjou pear, cored, halved and thinly sliced

cup blue cheese crumbles

2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced a slight sweetness and lots of nooks and crannies for the dressing to cling to. This miniature lettuce is fun to have in your cold pantry, because you can serve it cut into spears, sliced or even eaten whole. If you are having trouble finding baby gem lettuce, use crisp romaine lettuce leaves for crunch.

I like the buttery, assertive flavor of blue cheeses like Gorgonzola, Castello or Cambozola. You could also use goat or feta cheese crumbles if you prefer. The thinly sliced pear halves add a satisfying sweet counterpar­t to the fresh citrus flavor of the vinaigrett­e.

You can include another dimension of flavor and texture with toasted pine nuts, pecans or pistachios, or add strips of chicken for protein.

Whenever you serve this outstandin­g salad, you’ll be delighted with the results.

Salt and freshly ground black pepper teaspoon sugar cup lemon juice cup of olive oil

1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives

1. For the dressing, combine the garlic, salt, pepper, sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Slowly add olive oil and whisk until blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

2. Combine the lettuce leaves, endive spears and pear slices in a salad bowl.

3. Pour over just enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves and toss to combine. Garnish with blue cheese crumbles. Serve in shallow bowls or salad plates.

 ?? DIANE ROSSEN WORTHINGTO­N/TNS ?? This salad features some assertive flavors and textures.
DIANE ROSSEN WORTHINGTO­N/TNS This salad features some assertive flavors and textures.

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