Estela's Endive Salad w/ Orange, Walnuts & Pecorino
If you have ever been to Estela in NYC, you will know about this salad. It is always on the menu and it is addictive.
Of course Chef Ignacio Mattos uses Pecorino Duro and Ubriaco Rosso (2 types of Italian cheese that are wonderful, but not easy to find).
Instead, I use small pieces of aged Parmigiano Reggiano......you can use any aged Pecorino too.........don't stress.
It starts with endive, of course.......I buy the red and white endive at Trader Joe's because plain old endive can be boring in the winter, and I need color right now.
The original recipe uses a "granola".....which is just really breadcrumbs and walnuts and cheese......maybe the consistency of a granola, but I will call it "pangrattato" or "rustic breadcrumbs".
A note on the breadcrumbs: I suggest making a lot of this mixture, and keeping it in the freezer for future dishes. I have used it on other salads and sprinkled on pastas with vegetables and it is the bomb. Do it.
Here's how I make this addictive salad:
Grab an orange or two, I like navel oranges, without the pits. Just slice the peel off and remove the pith and cut into quarters.
Separate the leaves of the endives and cut off the core. Place the whole leaves in a large bowl.
Scatter the orange pieces over the leaves with the zest and squeeze any leftover juices that are still on the rinds over the salad.
For the vinaigrette:
2 tbsp of wine vinegar (Estela uses garnacha vinegar.....what?)
3 anchovies, chopped
2 small garlic cloves, shaved on a microplane
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp honey (my addition, but it's so good with the honey)
cracked black pepper
For the "granola":
1 1/2 cups of day old bread (I have also used panko breadcrumbs in lieu of the bread)
1/2 cup of walnuts
very small pieces of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Tear the bread into pieces and toast them in a 375F oven for about 10 minutes, add the walnuts to the pan and toast another 5 minutes, make sure they are not burning.
Remove from the oven, and mash with a mortar and pestle (or with the back of a glass like I do).
Transfer the granola crumbs to a bowl and add the parsley, salt and chili flakes and cheese. (I have perfected this mixture and now make it in a frying pan with panko crumbs and grated Pecorino Romano and a little olive oil).
Toss the endive spears and oranges with the vinaigrette.
Top with the granola breadcrumb mixture and eat. YOU WILL LOVE THIS.
Sorry to be so wordy about the recipe, it's not as difficult as it sounds.
If you need the original written recipe then click on this link to Food52 it gives precise measurements and the more exotic ingredients.