Fried Cambozola Cheese over an Autumn Salad

Did I enjoy this salad, it was just so good! I’m so happy that I did the dishes before posting this because I’m sure I would have been dipping another slice of Cambozola into the panko crumbs followed by the hot oil, once again. I love Cambozola cheese and think at one point in my life it could have been considered a love affair, lol. We met every Friday night with wine and it always ended with a smile. During the autumn, salads can get pushed to the end of the table, while savory filling dishes get all of the attention but this salad can be the star of the meal. It’s really delicious and celebrates fall flavors with bitter greens, sweet pears and tart cranberries. Let’s not forget the creamy melted Cambozola on top, slightly warming the salad up. It’s a nice salad for an informal party, in a cozy setting, where everyone can wait (hardly wait) for the Cambozola to fry up, to be enjoyed. Happy weekend all!

  •  red leaf lettuce leaves, torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 small Belgian endive, julienned and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 heaping tablespoons julienned radicchio
  • about 10 walnut halves
  • 1/2 D’Anjou pear, peeled and sliced thin
  • dried cranberries
  • 2 slices Cambozola cheese, about 1/4 inch thick
  • milk
  • less than 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons roasted walnut oil*
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar with pear pulp
  • squeeze of lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

This recipe is for two servings, so triple or quadruple as needed. And all of the ingredients in the salad can be adjusted to your liking. Begin by piling the red leaf lettuce in a bowl or on a plate. Add on the Belgian endive and radicchio. On half of the greens, place your pear slices. If they are going to sit for a while, brush with a little lemon juice so they don’t brown. Dry pan roast your walnuts on hot heat for 5 minutes, stirring them around occasionally, until nice and brown and set aside. (I pan roasted them with a few rosemary leaves, I’ve been obsessed with rosemary lately. It makes the house smell great and I added the rosemary leaves to the vinaigrette.) Place the walnuts and cranberries on the pear slices. Next make your vinaigrette by whisking all of the ingredients together and set aside. (*You can use extra virgin olive oil if you aren’t a fan of roasted walnut oil.)  Season your panko crumbs with ground pepper and sea salt and set aside. Dip your slice of cheese into a little milk followed by the panko crumbs. Use a spoon to lightly press the crumbs into the cheese. Heat up a little canola oil in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Make sure your oil is nice and hot before placing the cheese in it. Fry for a few seconds. You will see the loose panko crumbs brown and you’ll know when it’s time to flip the cheese. Brown on the other side and remove with a slotted spatula and drain over the paper towel. (Don’t put the cheese directly on the paper towel because it will stick.) Blot the top of the cheese lightly with a paper towel and place on the other half of the salad. Spoon the vinaigrette on the greens and serve the rest on the side. Enjoy!

Grilled Belgian Endive Salad with Cilantro

After the bacon & margarita, a girl needs a salad, lol. And I love Belgian endive, I think they are just beautiful. But they can be a little bitter, so I decided to grill them. Dowsing them with olive oil cuts the bitterness, and grilling it mellows them out, transforming them into layers of smoky, oily deliciousness on a plate. Enjoy! :)

  • 4 heads of Belgian endive, heavy for their size, leaves tightly packed
  • 4 radishes, sliced thin
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • olive oil, and 1/3 cup reserved for dressing
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime

Cut your endive heads in half lengthwise, and drizzle with olive oil and top with salt. Grill cut side down for about 5 minutes, so there are some nice grill marks, I had the heat on high. When your endive is done, remove from the grill, and make your dressing. Combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, agave syrup, lime juice and a little salt (I was tempted to add tequila, lol). Stir in your cilantro. It will be very thick dressing. Arrange your endive lettuces on a plate and top with your radish slices. Drizzle your salad with the dressing, and additional olive oil. This serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course. It is complete with some poached shrimp, adding some sweetness to the salad.

Herb Salad with Goat Cheese & Pistachios

Parsley, dill, Belgian endive, goat cheese…pistachio nuts…What’s not to love? Especially when combined in a salad?  And I think it’s such a pretty salad too! The Belgium endive frames the plate, and the best part, you can use the leaves to scoop the salad up. Visions of hot summer days, sweet sticky barbecued chicken wings and this salad are dancing in my head. lol All fun finger food! Can’t wait! But as of now, it’s a chilly night and this salad is a nice break from all the indulgences lately! Here’s the list of goodies…

  • 3 Belgian endives ( I used large ones)
  • 1 very small head of radicchio, chopped
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley (about one bunch)
  • 1 cup of chopped dill 
  • 1 small shallot finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 a large lemon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 heaping teaspoon fig marmalade
  • 2 ounces of goat cheese, or more…
  • 1/4 cup raw pistachio nuts, chopped fine

Trim the bottoms of the endive, remove the largest leaves and form them in a circle around a plate. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the endive, (chopped into small pieces) the radicchio, the parsley and the dill. In a separate bowl, combine the shallot, olive oil, juice of the lemon, red wine vinegar, honey, fig marmalade, salt and pepper. Pour the salad dressing over the herbs and lettuces and combine well. Take your salad and pile it in the center of the plate. Top with your goat cheese and chopped pistachio nuts and enjoy!