16 March 2013

Belgian endive and beets in salad

Salade d'endives aux betteraves is a salad that would also be very good made with iceberg lettuce. The beets go well with a crispy, slightly bitter lettuce like iceberg, endive, chicory (escaroble, scarole), or curly endive (frisée). It's a classic combination in France.

The dressing is a vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar and either olive or a neutral vegetable oil, plus salt and and a generous grind of black pepper. Some diced shallot is good with the beets. You can use a different vinegar — balsamic, for example, brings out the sweetness of the beets and complements the bitterness of the greens.

Another addition that dresses up the salad is some toasted walnuts or pecans. And if you're adding those, you might want to put some walnut or hazelnut oil in the dressing to perk up the vegetable oil.

We've been eating salads like this all week because Belgian endive is such a good buy at the supermarket right now. Endives are going for just over a euro per kilo, or about 60 cents a pound, at Intermarché. I like them raw in salad, but also braised in butter and lemon juice as a cooked vegetable.

Another, completely different and more elaborate salad is the same Belgian endive (or iceberg lettuce) with toasted walnuts, a diced apple, and some little cubes of cheese — either Cheddar, Swiss (Comté or Gruyère), or Gouda. If you like it, use Roquefort or another blue cheese. And make the dressing with some garlic and cider vinegar, as well as a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. We've had that version a couple of times this past week too, since Walt got some good eating apples (pommes à croquer) at SuperU.

This is The Weather Channel's forecast for our village this week, viewed on my
Android tablet computer in Fahrenheit.

Temperatures are finally back above freezing this morning, but you can't quite call it a heat wave. Rain is supposed to start later today, or maybe in the evening, and last all week. The good news is that temperatures are going to be spring-like by Thursday.


  1. Ken, have you tried Vigean's "Fruity and Nuts"* oil... 70% cold pressed colza[rape] and 30% walnut... around 4.50€ a litre bottle. Superb for salads, making brown bread[instead of butter or veg oil] and frying onions or in chinese stirfries... excellent scran... there is a Bio version available at something like 13€ for 750ml [but that is a 55:45 ratio of colza/noix]...haven't tried that yet... too expensive.
    *Fruitee et Noix

  2. Tim, we get our nut oils from the local huilerie, Guénard, over in Noyers-sur-Cher. I make my own blends for cooking and for dressings.

  3. Do Guenard sell commercially... or do they have a shop on site and do the markets [like Huilerie Lepine... down below us]?... Vigean are between you and us at Clion-sur-Indre, but all the supers arouns here seem to sell it... as does our Spar at the supermarket price [which is nice].

  4. I can buy Guénard oils at our local Intermarché, but I don't know if they are sold in other local supermarkets.

  5. Lovely salad with my favorite combination! (I use my pressure cooker a lot but, particularly when I need to steam beets and artichokes. They don't seem to be as popular in the US as they are in France).
    Hard to believe it is going to rain all week long. Can you send some my way please?.

  6. We've been eating beets lately
    too. Just rinse them off and toss
    them in the slow cooker for four
    or five hours. I'd sell my soul
    for some of that endive, adore it.

  7. Oh, boy, this is one thing that I can thank France for-- I'd never heard of a salad with beets until I lived in Paris. I LOVE them-- especially with the apples (or pears) and cheese and nuts. Yumm!

  8. You keep reminding me of things I love but have somehow forgotten. I love Belgian endive!


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?