When used properly, walnuts can provide creaminess, richness, and superior emulsification to sauces. Here we use them in a bright, citrusy dressing with a little kick. Blending walnuts in a base of ginger, garlic, and jalapeno gives plenty of heat. And instead of mustard or mayonnaise, the walnuts help to keep the sauce smooth and homogenous as we add the oil. The result is an ultra-smooth, creamy dressing that’s perfect on salads. For this dish, we like the classic combination of endive and citrus: The sweetness of oranges balances the bitter sweetness of endive, while the bright acidity of the dressing ties the flavors together. This is the perfect fancy side dish for your next dinner party, or could serve as a refreshing light lunch.
Endive Salad with Citrus Walnut Dressing
- ½ cup lime juice (about 4 limes)
- 1 cup (4 ounces) toasted walnuts
- 1 1-inch piece ginger
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- ½ cup parsley leaves
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 belgian endive (about 4 ounces each), wilted or bruised leaves discarded
- 3 cara cara or blood oranges
- Flake sea salt
- For the Dressing: Place lime juice, ¼ cup (1 ounce) walnuts, ginger, garlic, jalapeno, and 1 teaspoon salt in blender and blend on high speed until smooth and frothy, about 30 seconds. Add cilantro and blend until just combined, 15 to 30 seconds longer. With blender running, drizzle in oil until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Strain dressing through fine-mesh strainer, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer dressing to bowl and season with salt to taste.
- For the Salad: Cut away peel and pith from oranges. Holding fruit over bowl, use paring knife to slice between membranes to release segments; set aside. Roughly chop remaining 3/4 cup walnuts. Spoon dressing on large plate or serving bowl. Shingle endive pieces on top of sauce and scatter orange segments over endive. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, drizzle extra dressing and olive oil, and season to taste with flake sea salt. Serve.
Nutrition facts:1 serving 478 calories 12 grams of protein 29 grams of carbohydrates 8 grams of fiber 12 grams of sugar 219 milligrams of sodium 506 milligrams of potassium 40 grams of fat ( 4 grams of saturated fat 10 grams of monounsaturated fat 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat )
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