This is a fun salad that I came up with sometime last year. The inspiration comes from salads I’ve had at restaurants and homes across Europe, especially in Germany and France. I’d seen endives (chicory) prior to moving to Europe over ten years ago, but they seem to be much more popular and celebrated on this side of the Atlantic. That said, I have had some great endive salads in Montreal, too.
One of the cool things about endive leaves is that the shape is perfect for filling them up with ingredients and serving (and eating) them in a playful way. I love finger foods, and I love eating with my hands. It certainly has something to do with the amount of time I’ve spent in India and other parts of the world which embrace hands-on eating. I might feel awkward eating a salad with my hands at a restaurant, but sometimes it’s fun at home.
As much as I enjoy cooking and warm food, I like to eat a lot of raw food, too. Salads are the obvious choice, with snacking on sprouts and vegetables on their own another option. I like to get creative with salads and make things more interesting. A lot of the creativity is in the dressings, with almost endless possibilities.
Depending how you make these Endive Sprout Boats (and especially the dressing) it can be mostly or entirely raw. Use raw walnuts (not toasted) and skip the sesame oil and soy sauce if you really want to go basic and uncooked. Play with the amount of lemon juice to get the salty-sour right. You could even grind your own sesame (and/or sunflower seeds) instead of using ready-made tahini, if you want.
Endive Sprout Boats with Sesame Soy dressing
serves 3-4 / time 15 min
- 12 endive leaves
- 1 medium carrot peeled, grated
- 2 cups / 2 oz / 60 g alfalfa or mixed sprouts
- 1/2 cup / 2 oz / 60 g walnut pieces lightly toasted
- 2 Tbsn olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsn soy sauce
- 2 Tbsn lemon juice or 1 Tbsn rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsn tahini
- 1 Tbsn water
- 1 Tbsn agave syrup
- 1/4 tsp black pepper ground
- Wash and separate endive leaves and arrange on plate(s).
- Fill leaves with grated carrot, sprouts. Top with walnuts.
- Mix oils, soy sauce, lemon juice, tahini, water, agave, pepper in bowl.
- Pour dressing over boats and serve!
Candied Walnuts: Begin to toast walnuts in a small pan on medium heat. After they start to roast, add 1/2 tsp sugar. Stir constantly as you toast until sugar melts and coats nuts, 1-2 min.