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Endive-Watercress Salad with Candied Walnuts

slideshow Terrific Green Salads

  • Servings: 8

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  • 1 1/2 cups walnut halves (about 5 ounces)
  • 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 4 large Belgian endives—halved lengthwise, cored and cut into thirds crosswise
  • 3 bunches of watercress, large stems trimmed


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the walnuts for about 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Gently rub off any large pieces of skin and transfer the nuts to a bowl. Add the water and toss to moisten the nuts, then add the brown sugar and a large pinch of salt and toss to coat.
  2. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 10 minutes, stirring a few times, until the walnuts are browned and crisp. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and the pepper. Stir in the olive oil and walnut oil. In a large bowl, combine the endives and watercress. Just before serving, toss the salad with the dressing and scatter the walnuts over the top.

Suggested Pairing

The core of golden fruit in a California Chardonnay, coupled with its smokiness, marries well with the nutty dressing and candied walnut garnish. An alternative: a California Sauvignon Blanc; its ripe concentrated fruit is a perfect balance for the slight bitterness of the endive.

Contributed By Photo © Matthew Hranek Published March 1998

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