Want a tasty Belgian Endive appetizer to kick off a special meal? This easy endive recipe comes together in minutes and can be made ahead of time. This endive salad has color, texture and big pops of flavors with a tangy mustard dressing, thinly sliced apple and crunchy walnuts. One of our favorite easy starters before a big meal.
What Is Belgian Endive?
Belgian endive is a beautifully different lettuce with it’s pale yellow tinged leaves and bitter crunch. The reason that Belgian endive is so pale and light is that it’s actually grown in darkness so that the leaves never get green. It’s also a lettuce that my grandmother used frequently and when she made her endive salads, there were only 3 components: Endive, hard-boiled eggs and a sharp, tangy mustard dressing. My endive recipe adds a few more ingredients to round out the dish. Despite the fact that this is a really easy starter, I think it’s occasion-worthy.
Endive Salad Starter
It would make a great starter or appetizer to Thanksgiving or any rich, festive meal, because it’s light enough not to load you up, but flavorful enough to really gear up your tastebuds for what’s to come. This Belgian endive salad is really easy to make, too — and most of it can be done ahead of time (BONUS!)
Ingredients in Endive Salad:
- Hard Boiled Egg
- Shaved Parmesan
- Microgreens (optional)
I made this particular salad for my hubby and I, but it can easily be doubled, tripled or whatever-ed you’d need for a larger crowd. Frankly, that’s the other thing I like this endive recipe… it’s scaleability.
Mustard Dressing For Endive Salad
The mustard dressing for this endive recipe isn’t like my usual vinaigrettes — because there’s no vinegar in it. It’s simply garlic, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir the ingredients together until they become emulsified and drizzle it over the salad.
This mustard dressing is tangy and bracing, almost compounding the bitterness in the belgian endive and walnuts and peppery radish. That’s the beauty of it. The flavors are bold and in-your-face. The chopped egg and apple are delicious compliments
Assembling the Crunchy Belgian Endive and Walnut Salad
My grandmother would serve this salad in her salad bowl by arranging the leaves so they “stood” with the pale yellow tips facing up. She would sprinkle on the chopped egg and drizzle the mustard dressing over the whole bowl. You can certainly build the salad in the same way, or arrange it on a platter to serve and spatter it with dressing and a flurry of micro greens. (The micro greens are optional, but if it’s for a special occasion, they really dress up the plate.)
It’s nothing like any Belgian endive recipe you’ve had is it? I’ve seen braised endive and stuffed endive recipes before, but nothing that doubles down on the bitterness inherent in this leaf vegetable.
More Easy Starters:
- Creamy Mushroom Bisque
- Fancy Baked Sea Scallops
- Wild Mushroom and Leek Crostini
- Sweet Corn and Crab Salad
- Chilled Cucumber Soup
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Crunchy Endive And Walnut Salad
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 grinds black pepper
- 1 head endive
- 1/2 apple cored and thinly sliced, tossed in a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent oxidation
- 2-3 radishes thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons walnuts toasted, roughly chopped
- 1 hardboiled egg peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
- microgreens optional
- In a small bowl add the garlic and mustard. Slowly drizzle the oil into the mustard mix while stirring to emulsify. Add the pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
Compose the salad
- Pull the endive leaves apart and arrange on a platter. Add the radish and apple slices, tucking them in and around the endive.
- Dot the chopped egg over the salad and sprinkle on the walnuts. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.
- If you're using shredded parmesan cheese, sprinkle it evenly over the endive. If you have a whole block of parmesan, use a vegetable peeler to shave thin slices over the salad.
- Sprinkle with microgreens and serve.
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