There are days when I feel so rushed off my feet, doing one chore after another, running from one errand to the next or constantly cooking but hardly having time to enjoy the meals, that I have to find ways to enjoy some 'me-time' in the simplest ways.
The other day, while the kids were down for a nap, I made myself a 'me-time' salad. It was the perfect midday wind-down meal -- simple, interesting and quite elegant. It's a 'grown-up' salad.
I've only had Belgian Endive leaves before as 'boats' for dips for appetizer. I remember enjoying the slight bitterness and thinking how it can be the perfect foil for a lot of different flavours.
This salad had a lot of interesting flavours I love- bitterness from the endive, sweetness from the caramelised onion, biting saltiness from the blue cheese and the unique taste of macadamia nuts.
Endive Salad with Honey and Balsamic Onion
1/4 c chopped macadamia nuts
1 medium sized onion, sliced into crescents
1Tbsp olive oil
2Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
250g Belgian Endive
crumbled blue cheese *
Heat up a non-stick pan and add the macadamia nuts. Swish around the pan until golden. Put aside.
Pour the olive oil into the pan and when hot, add the onion slices. Cook until well-caramelised, around 10 mins.
In the meantime, prepare the endive by chopping off around 1/2 cm from the stem end. Using the pointed end of a knife, cut a cone shape around 1cm deep from the stem end. Then, cut the 'bulbs' into halves lengthways. Peel off the leaves. The leaves can be cut into bite size pieces but I left mine as the bulbs were not too big. Arrange on a plate.
When the onion has softened considerably, add the balsamic vinegar and honey. Stir around until it has turned syrupy.
Pour the onion mixture over the endive (I liked it warm but I suppose this can be completely cooled down beforehand).
Sprinkle with macadamias and then top with crumbled blue cheese.
*I used King Island Endeavour Blue, which is similar in style to gorgonzola.
The whole lot was polished off by moi and when the kids got up from their nap, I was ready to greet them with a genuine smile.
I am submitting this recipe as a contribution to Coffee and Vanilla's event to celebrate Vegetarian Awareness Month.
Our Mums were right, vegetables are good for us! Keep an eye out for the round up from Margot. It's bound to have a lot of nutritious and creative recipes for enjoying vegetables.