WINTER SALAD WITH ENDIVE & BACON
For the Salad
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound pork or beef bacon, roughly chopped
2 large shallots, peeled and minced
3 heads red endive, leaves separated
3 heads yellow endive, leaves separated
1 small head radicchio, leaves separated
1 small head fennel, core removed and sliced thin
1 pear, cored and thinly sliced
shelled pistachios and zest of one orange, for garnish
For the Vinaigrette
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons spiced apple cider
2 tablespoons room temperature honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard
1/8 teaspoon sweet curry powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup neutral oil like avocado, grape seed, or canola
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
To make the vinaigrette: Combine vinegar, cider, honey, salt, mustard, curry and cayenne in a bowl or blender and whisk or blend on low to combine. If your honey is cold and slightly hardened, just put the mixing bowl over a low burner on your stove while whisking in order to warm the honey enough to incorporate with the other ingredients.
While whisking or with the blender on low, slowly drizzle the oil into the bowl or blender to emulsify the dressing. When all of the oil is incorporated, whisk in the pomegranate molasses and taste for seasoning.
To make the salad: Sauté the chopped bacon in the olive oil until it is caramelized, then sauté the shallots in the rendered fat until they are soft and translucent. Set bacon and shallots aside and allow to cool slightly.
Toss endive, radicchio, fennel and pears in a large mixing bowl and dress with the vinaigrette. Add the bacon, shallot mixture with some of the olive oil/rendered fat (just for flavor) and toss again to combine. Garnish salad with the pistachios and the orange zest. This salad is also excellent marinated in the vinaigrette overnight, or even shredded for a slaw-style salad.