At a recent party, I planned an Italian themed menu of Aperitivo followed by a simple dinner. I hoped to serve small bites with fresh, healthy ingredients with Negronis and Blood Orange and Rosemary cocktails. I created easy-to-serve, handheld salads in boats of Belgian endive. The mildly bitter leaves of endive offer a soft crunch to salads. Feel free to vary the ingredients in this versatile recipe to suit your needs.
Le Barchette di Indivia
- 4 heads Belgian endive
- 1 package (8 ounces) Fontina cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 4 ounces hard salami, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 15.5 oz can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup oil-cured, black Moroccan olives (pitted and halved)
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 shallots, diced
- 5-6 red, yellow and orange sweet peppers, diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp, red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon, prepared Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Cut the base stems of the endive to loosen the leaves. You may need to cut further up the stalk to loosen inner leaves. Place leaves in a bowl of cold water to soak. Gently rinse, drain and chill the leaves in a salad spinner.
- Assemble all ingredients (cheese through basil) in a large bowl.
- In another small bowl, whisk remaining ingredients for dressing until thoroughly mixed. Pour into bowl of salad vegetables and toss. Add pepper and salt to taste.
- Spoon salad into individual boats of endive. Arrange on a serving tray.