Spring has been quite tardy up in Northern Quebec. The past couple of weeks mark the melting of (most) of the snow and a returning desire for juicy, crunchy salads on the plate. This one is a showy and tasty starter for lunch or supper where seared endive acts as the showcase for a medley of lightly dressed fresh vegetables. A tasty way to say hello to spring, with a blend of salty, sweet, bitter and refreshing!
Yield: 2 servings
What you need:
- 2 Belgian endives, halved
- 6 grape tomatoes, finely diced
- 2 small (Lebanese) cucumbers, finely diced
- 1/2 a small carrot, finely grated
- 2 sprigs basil, leaves only, leaves coarsely torn
- 2 sprigs fresh methi (fenugreek greens), leaves only, leaves coarsely torn (or more basil if fresh methi is unavailable)
- 1 tablespoon raw hemp seed oil
- 1 teaspoon ume plum vinegar
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
What you do:
- Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat until very hot. When hot, add the endive halves in a single layer, cut side down. Place a heavy pan on top (like a cast iron fry-pan) and let sear for 3-4 minutes.
- In a bowl, whisk together the hemp seed oil, ume plum vinegar and ground pepper. Add the diced tomatoes and cucumber, grated carrot and torn basil and methi leaves. Mix well.
- Go back to the grill pan, remove the weighting pan and flip the endive halves over using tongs. Put the pan/press back on top of the endive and sear another 2-3 minutes.
- To serve, place a couple of endive halves on each plate and spoon the salad (confetti!) over the seared wedges.
Note: You could also cook the endive halves in a panini press rather than going the grill-pan and weight method.