Monday, December 17, 2007

Watercress, Belgian Endive Salad with Black Olive Vinagrette

I was really prepared to NOT like this salad. I mean, Kalamata olives are strong. Pungent. Overwhelming in flavor sometimes. I certainly don't like eating them straight away. And I thought they'd just overwhelm the tender watercress and Belgian endive leaves. I should know better than to distrust Phillis Carey, one of my favorite cooking teachers. She made this salad at the cooking class I attended in San Diego, at Great News, about 10 days ago.

She made this salad as part of a tenderloin of beef dinner. And it was absolutely delicious. I'll be making this again and again. It would be perfect with nearly any kind of grilled meat. Even fish. It would make a lovely first course too. It's colorful. Delicious.

Phillis soaked the red onion in acidulated water (with the vinegar) for 10-20 minutes. I'd forgotten that technique of getting the pungency, the bitterness, that sharpness out of onions. I might soak them longer, depending on the onion I used. And I found another use for my ball bearing whisk. I forget to use this thing, but it was perfect for the dressing here, so you didn't mash up the olive pieces.

Watercress & Belgian Endive Salad with Black Olive Vinaigrette
Recipe By: Phillis Carey, author, cooking instructor
Servings: 6
1/2 cup pitted black olives -- Kalamata, divided use
1 clove garlic -- minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary -- chopped
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Salt & pepper to taste
1 small red onion -- halved, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 whole Navel oranges -- skinned, cut in sections
2 bunches watercress -- thick stems discarded
2 whole Belgian Endive -- halved, thinly sliced, cut at last minute
1/2 cup Italian parsley -- chopped
1. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup of the olives and place in a small, separate bowl.
2. Place remaining olives in food processor with the garlic and rosemary, pulse to chop. Add vinegar and pulse to combine. Add this mixture to the separate bowl of olives and using a ball-bearing whisk, combine the mixtures. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then cover and refrigerate up to one day ahead. May also be left at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
3. Salad: place the onion slices in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Stir in the vinegar and allow this to stand for at least 10 minutes (more if you'd like less pungency to the onions). Drain.
4. Using a sharp knife, peel the oranges, removing all the white pith. Cut between the membranes to release the orange sections and place in the salad bowl. Do this job over the bowl to save any of the orange juice. Add the watercress, endive, parsley and drained onion. Toss with dressing and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.
Per Serving: 162 Calories; 13g Fat (66.3% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 109mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 2 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.
To print a PDF recipe, click title at top.

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