Bitter & Sweet: Endive-Radicchio Winter Salad with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Almonds

Endive-Radicchio Salad with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Almonds. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Endive-Radicchio Salad with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Almonds. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Fresh, colorful salads are great any time of the year, but I find winter salads a bit more challenging. In the summer, the world of produce begs to be eaten raw, and salads almost make themselves. But winter vegetables seem to like to be roasted or braised or sautéed in some fashion; rarely do you see them raw.

I always think it’s nice, however, to have something fresh and seasonal on the table. Particularly during the holidays when everything is awash in cream and butter and booze.

This winter salad is just the ticket. Salty, bitter, sweet, nutty, crunchy, and creamy, this bowlful of freshness is both bright and balanced. With the pale green endive and marbled burgundy-white radicchio leaves it is also beautifully colorful. Chopped toasted almonds, creamy-salty blue cheese, and juicy pears help manage the bitterness of the leaves, while a tangy-sweet white balsamic vinaigrette makes the whole thing sparkle.

Feel free to swap out apples for pears, walnuts for almonds, and feta for blue cheese.

Ingredients for Endive-Radicchio Salad with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Almonds. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Ingredients for Endive-Radicchio Salad with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Almonds. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Recipe: Endive-Radicchio Salad with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Almonds

Serves 6

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Ingredients:
Vinaigrette

  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced shallot
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salad

  • 2 heads Belgian endive, halved lengthwise, cored, and chopped
  • 1 head red radicchio, quartered, cored, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup almonds or walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2 ripe, juicy pear, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Point Reyes Blue cheese, crumbled

Instructions:

    1. To make the vinaigrette, add the shallot, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste in an airtight jar with a lid. Add the olive oil and shake vigorously until blended.

    1. Add the endive and radicchio to a shallow serving bowl. Top with the almonds, pear slices, and blue cheese. Drizzle with some of the vinaigrette. Pass any remaining vinaigrette alongside the salad.

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Top with the almonds, pear slices, and blue cheese. Drizzle with some of the vinaigrette. Serve. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Top with the almonds, pear slices, and blue cheese. Drizzle with some of the vinaigrette. Serve. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

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