When I was a kid I remember my father taking our family out to dinner at a “fancy” restaurant in Dallas for a special occasion. The nature of the special occasion eludes me all these many years later but, oddly enough, I still remember the salad. Perhaps that is one mark of a true food lover. We reckon everything in terms of what we were eating at the time. The memorable salad marking that particular experience was dominated by Belgian style endive. (Pronounced “on-deeve”*) It is a vegetable I had not encountered prior to that day and it struck me as very exotic. Even though endive is not a food I have eaten regularly over the years I still associate it with high-caliber restaurants and recipes.
Knowing my husband is a fan of the more bitter flavors, I decided to use endive to create a unique salad for him on Father’s Day. This salad combines crunchy, slightly bitter endive with refreshing watercress and spicy radishes. It’s topped with toasted walnuts and creamy goat cheese and dressed with an extra virgin olive oil and white balsamic vinaigrette. The sweetness of the white balsamic vinegar is a nice contrast to the bitter and spicy flavors of the vegetables.