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Salad is well tuned.

By ingredients that harmonize

THIS PEAR-ENDIVE SALAD owes its subtlety to a combination of unusual greens and an unusual dressing.

The greens include chopped cilantro and thinly sliced broccoli flowerets along with familiar curly endive and green onions. A well-balanced dressing combines walnut oil with a fruit-flavor vinegar that emphasizes the pear. The famous affinity of pears with blue cheese and walnuts is another harmony in the composition.

This salad is thoughtfully conceived as well as delicious.

Pear-Endive Salad

1 small (about 1/2-lb.) head curly endive

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions, including tops

1 cup thinly sliced broccoli flowerets

2 tablespoons crumbled blue-veined cheese

1 large (about 1/2-lb.) ripe pear

1 1/2 tablespoons fruit-flavor vinegar, such as blueberry, raspberry, or tangerine

1 tablespoon walnut oil or salad oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Separate endive leaves; rinse and drain. To crisp, if desired, wrap in towels and enclose in a plastic bag. Refrigerate 30 minutes to 2 days.

Stack endive leaves and thinly slice crosswise.

In a bowl, combine sliced endive, cilantro, onions, broccoli, and blue cheese.

Core and thinly slice pear onto salad. Sprinkle with vinegar and oil; mix gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4 to 6.

Per serving: 64 cal. (46 percent from fat); 1.9 g protein; 3.3 g fat (0.7 g sat.); 8 g carbo.; 51 mg sodium; 2.1 mg chol.

ACCORDING TO Larousse Gastronomique, it is customary to serve a variety of hors d'oeuvres at the beginning of a meal. That was then; now we are more inclined to do chips and dips. So cunningly devised and richly prepared are these preliminary temptations that diners must sometimes be prodded to the table for the main event. Indeed, some very successful informal parties have been built around dips, chips, and beverages.

Although most are served cold (notably the ubiquitous sour cream and onion soup mix), many others are brought forth hot or warm. Here is one of the latter. Based on cheeses, spinach, and tomato, it picks up a little steam from green chilies. Cumin enhances the Mexican element in the dish, as do tortilla chips.

Bake-it-easy Dip

About 3/4 pound spinach, stems and wilted leaves discarded

1 teaspoon salad oil

1 small (1/4-lb.) onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

2 or 3 Anaheim (New Mexico or California) green chilies (each 6 to 7 in. long), stemmed, seeded, and chopped; or 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies

1 large (about 1/2-lb.) firm-ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and chopped

2 packages (3 oz. each, 1/2 cup total) neufchatel (light cream) cheese

1/2 cup nonfat milk

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/4 cups (6 oz.) shredded mozzarella or jack cheese

1 can (2 1/4 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained

Tortilla chips or 4 to 6 cups thin slices of raw vegetables such as carrot, cucumber, or turnip (optional)

Rinse spinach well, drain, and chop. Put in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat and stir until spinach wilts, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour into a fine strainer and press with back of a spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible; set spinach aside.

To pan, add oil, onion, garlic, and fresh chilies. Stir often over medium-high heat until vegetables are limp, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomato (and canned chilies). Stir until hot; set aside.

In a bowl, combine neufchatel cheese, milk, and cumin; stir, then beat until smoothly mixed. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the mozzarella, and all the spinach and cooked vegetables; mix well. Spread evenly in a shallow 1-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with olives and remaining mozzarella.

Bake in a 450 |degrees~ oven until hot in center and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve warm to scoop onto tortilla chips. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Per serving: 126 cal. (64 percent from fat); 6.6 g protein; 9 g fat (4.9 g sat.); 5.6 g carbo.; 216 mg sodium; 26 mg chol.

To use our nutrition information

Sunset recipes contain nutrition information based on the most current data available from the USDA for calorie count; grams of protein, total fat (including saturated fat), and carbohydrate; and milligrams of sodium and cholesterol.

This analysis is usually given for a single serving, based on the largest number of servings listed for the recipe. Or it's for a specific amount, such as per tablespoon (for sauces), or by a unit, as per cookie.

The nutrition analysis does not include optional ingredients or those for which no specific amount is stated (salt added to taste, for example). If an ingredient is listed with an alternative, the figures are calculated using the first choice or a comparable food. Likewise, if a range is given for the amount of an ingredient (such as 1/2 to 1 cup butter), values are figured on the first, lower amount.

Recipes using regular-strength chicken broth are based on the sodium content of salt-free homemade or canned broth. If you use canned salted chicken broth, the sodium content will be higher.
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Title Annotation:Chefs of the West; recipes
Author:Griffiths, Joan; Dunmire, Richard
Article Type:Column
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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