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Categories: Quick and easy, Salads, Vegetarian

Goat cheese, candied chestnut and Belgian endive salad

The chestnut. It's about as avoidable this time of year as the endless loop of Christmas carols playing everywhere. There it is, in the stuffing. In the buche de Noel. It's being candied in marrons glaces, and of course, roasting ... Read more

Total time: About 50 minues | Serves 4 to 6
Note: From Christian Shaffer and Jeff Osaka of Chloe, where the dish is made with Humboldt Fog goat cheese, a cheese with a creamy interior and a Brie-like rind, which is available at specialty cheese shops and gourmet food stores.

Champagne vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt, pepper

Step 1Pour Champagne vinegar into a medium-sized bowl. Add olive oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Salad

  • 10 chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 heads Belgian endive, trimmed and washed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 5 ounces goat cheese

Step 1Make a cut in the outer hull of each chestnut, then roast the nuts in a shallow baking pan in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove the nuts from the oven and wrap them immediately in a damp kitchen towel. Steam for 15 minutes, then peel.

Step 2Pour the sugar into a small nonreactive saucepan and warm over medium heat until it dissolves, about 7 minutes. Once it begins to caramelize, stir with a wooden spoon. As the sugar becomes a light brown caramel, fold in the chestnuts. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet to cool. Once cooled, chop the candied chestnuts in halves. Some pieces of caramel will break off; keep them with the nuts.

Step 3In a large bowl, combine the endive, shallots, parsley and half the candied chestnuts. Drizzle with the vinaigrette; add salt and pepper to taste. Toss lightly.

Step 4Divide the salad among plates, place a slice of goat cheese on top of each, sprinkle the remaining candied chestnuts on each and serve immediately.

Each serving:
233 calories; 5 grams protein; 27 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 12 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 11 mg. cholesterol; 89 mg. sodium.
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