I hope you all had wonderful Valentine’s Days, I know I did ^.^!
This blog has no doubt made it exceptionally obvious that cooking/baking is “my thing.” It’s my passion, what I do to express myself, and what I’m most proud of. Well, about three Valentine’s Days ago, I finally decided that it would be a helluva lot more special for me to actually cook dinner for my sweetheart on Valentine’s Day than go out somewhere. It’s now become kind of a tradition for Mikey and I- every Valentine’s Day, I make us a gourmet meal!
The first year I started this (before I had this blog), I made us a Pistachio-crusted Rack of Lamb with Hasselback Potatoes and Lemon-Tyme Haricot Verts, and Chocolate Pots de Crème for dessert.
The next year, I made Filet Mignons with Mushroom Brandy Sauce and Mashed Potatoes with Pancetta and Leeks, plus Dark Chocolate Souffles with Cardamom Crème Anglaise for dessert.
Last year, I made Basil Caesar Salads with Homemade Croutons, Filet Mignons with Truffle Butter and Tarragon Marsala Sauce, and Salted Chocolate Caramel Tarts (which I now sell on my Etsy) for dessert!
This year, this unique salad kicked off the meal- you’ll get to see the entree and dessert later on ;)! It was seriously fantastic.
Pistachios are one of my very favorite nuts, and they pair beautifully with the pomegranate arils and foam. I had never made any sort of foam before, but after making this pomegranate foam, I have no clue why because it was the simplest process ever. The fennel and endive are flavor-strong and heart enough to stand up to the powerful flavors of the pistachio nuts and oil, and pomegranate arils and foam. Lastly, the Meyer lemon juice and zest really brighten the salad.
The only thing that I could possibly complain about regarding this salad would be the process of getting the arils out of the pomegranates. I absolutely HATE doing it, to the point that I usually just spend the extra money and buy them already out of the pomegranates. Alas, I went to two different stores and neither had them; I believe it’s because pomegranates are on their way out of season :/. But! The process is totally worth it, and I went ahead and just did 2 pomegranates even though this recipe only calls for the arils of about half of one because now I can at least have them lying around for salads and whatnot.
Fennel and Endive Salad with Pomegranates and Pistachios
recipe slightly adapted from here
- 2 belgian endive, core cut off and leaves cut in half
- 1 large bulb fennel, sliced thinly on a mandoline
- 1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachios
- fruity-tasting extra virgin olive oil
- zest of 1 Meyer lemon
- pistachio oil
- arils from 1/2 pomegranate (about 1/2 cup)
- Kosher salt
- 1 tsp (2g) soy lecithin granules (Bob’s Red Mill has some, but I got mine from a Molecular Gastronomy set I got as a gift from my wonderful boyfriend)
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- micro-greens, for garnish
- In a large bowl, dress the endive and fennel lightly with olive oil, to taste. Add in the pistachios and lemon zest, and then season to taste with the salt.
- To make the foam, combine the soy lecithin and pomegranate juice in a tall measuring cup and blend with a hand/stick blender. To use, spoon the foam off of the top. You can blend the mixture more after you have used all the foam to produce more.
- To plate, pile the belgian/endive mixture on the plate. Scatter with the pomegranate arils. Drizzle the salad with the pistachio oil, and then follow with the foam. Garnish with a bit of undressed micro-greens.