Wilted Endive Salad with Warm Fennel Vinaigrette

We at Worden Farm have worked for many years with the Culinary Arts Program at the Charlotte Technical College, helping to educate student chefs about farm-fresh vegetables. The chefs will be at Worden Farm this Wednesday afternoon, demonstrating and sampling this Florida cuisine recipe, which uses many vegetables that currently are being harvested in abundance at Worden Farm.

Many thanks to Chef Instructors Ron Westrom and Jason Osborne, and to the students in the CTC Culinary Arts Program.

Yield 5 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch          Fennel tops, large stems discarded
  • 4 oz                 Neutral flavor salad oil (vegetable)
  • 1/2 bulb          Fennel, Diced
  • 1 tsp                Green onion bottoms, fresh, sliced
  • 1 ea                 Meyer Lemon, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp            Dijon Mustard
  • 1 oz                 Sugar, brown
  • 1 oz                 Honey
  • ½ oz               Vinegar, cider
  • 4 oz                 Prepared Fennel oil, room temp
  • Pinch              Salt, kosher
  • Pinch              Pepper, black

 

  • 1 head             Cleaned curly endive, torn into bite size pieces
  • 3 leaves           Chard, washed, torn, stem diced
  • 4 ea                  Roasted beets, peeled, diced
  • 1 sprig             Green onion, sliced
  • 1 bu                 Flat parsley, washed, torn
  • 2 stalks           Celery, Washed, peeled, diced
  • 2 ea                  Peppers, bruinose

Garnish Options (*If not using any of these garnishes, then the recipe is gluten free, lactose free, and vegan)

  • 1 ea                  Eggs, hardboiled, diced
  • 1 ea                  Egg, soft poached
  • 1 oz                  Goat cheese
  • 1 oz                  Crumbled bacon
  • 2 oz                  Croutons

 

Procedure

  1. To make fennel infused oil, blanch fennel greens in boiling water for about 10 seconds, then immediately transfer greens to an ice water bath. This will help to keep a nice color and partially cooks the green to allow for a better extraction of flavor. Drain greens and blot off moisture with a towel. Add fennel and oil to a blender and blend on high speed for about 30 seconds. Let this mixture stand for 1 hr. Strain oil through a fine mesh strainer, reserve oil for vinaigrette and discard greens (oil can be kept up to two weeks in the refrigerator, if made ahead).
  2. To make the vinaigrette, sauté the fennel in a small sauté pan over medium heat, allowing for some caramelization.
  3. Add the onions and sauté for a few seconds. Blend in lemon juice, mustard, sugar, and honey. Remove pan from the heat and whisk in vinegar & then fennel oil. Season with salt & pepper
  4. In a large bowl toss salad ingredients with the warm dressing, then transfer to plates. Garnish the plate with garnishes of choice.

 

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