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Berry, Fennel and Belgian Endive Salad

It's not fair to say that a salad recipe is your favorite thing ever. It makes your other recipes feel bad. But in this case, I can't help myself. The berries and the fennel in this refreshing salad just do it for me. 

Ingredients

2 cups dry white wine
3 tablespoons brown rice syrup 
Grated zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 dried chili, left whole
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salad:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
2-3 shallots, finely minced
Sea salt
10-12 cherry tomatoes, halves
2 sprigs fresh basil, leaves left whole
1/4 cup pine nuts
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced or shaved
2-3 Belgian endive, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1-2 cups fresh summer berries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or a mix
2-3 cups spring mix or other baby greens

Directions 
Combine the dressing in a sauce pan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Reduce heat to low and cook until the contents have reduced by about one third, 15-25 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and set aside. 

While the dressing reduces, prepare the salad. Place oil, garlic and shallot in a skillet over medium heat. When the shallots begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and saute shallots for 1-2 minutes. Stir in cherry tomatoes and basil leaves, season lightly with salt and saute just until tomatoes begin to wilt, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in pine nuts and lemon juice. When dressing is ready, toss with fennel and endive. 

To serve, arrange greens on a serving platter, top with fennel and endive and berries, then spoon cherry tomatoes over top.

Makes 4-6 servings 

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