Bitter Greens with Quince Vinaigrette and Blue Cheese
- TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 8
The array of bitter greens, lightly wilted by hot garlic oil, is delicious with the flavors of balsamic vinegar and sweet quince paste in the dressing. Chef Govind Armstrong recommends using a soft blue like Gorgonzola for making a creamy dish. The firm blue cheese here creates a more crumbly topping.
- 3 ounces quince paste, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 Belgian endives (3/4 pound), cored and sliced crosswise 1 inch thick
- 1 head escarole (10 ounces), tough outer leaves discarded, inner leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- 2 small heads frisée (10 ounces total), torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 small head radicchio (6 ounces), torn into bite-size pieces
- 4 ounces firm blue cheese, such as Maytag Blue, crumbled
- In a mini food processor, puree the quince paste with the water and balsamic vinegar. Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil and process until emulsified. Pour the quince dressing into a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- In a small saucepan, cook the garlic in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over moderate heat until the garlic is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Discard the garlic.
- Put the endives, escarole, frisée and radicchio in a large bowl. Pour the hot garlic oil on top and toss. Add the quince vinaigrette and the blue cheese to the salad, toss again and serve.