Kumquat endive salad

We ate dinner last week in an industrial space that had been re-done into a residence and studio that was so stunning that Ernest jumped up and down as he shouted “Mama, this is so cool!”

I had to agree. The space was cool, the company delightful, and the food perfection. I was offered the serving bowl filled this endive, herb, kumquat salad and took way more than my fair share. I have since made it three times for myself for lunch. I’m making it now, while the kumquats are plentiful.

Kumquat endive salad

This is the ultimate end-of-winter-almost-spring salad. The bitter chicory of winter with the bright tart sweetness of citrus and the fresh green promise of spring herbs. You might not be able to have a real spring salad yet – there is no asparagus in here, no hidden fiddleheads – but it’s starting to seem like you will if you just hang in there.

4 Belgian endives

about 10 sprigs parsley

about 10 sprigs mint

10 kumquats

2 tablespoons lemon juice (Meyer lemon juice works nicely here, too)

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil (nothing too strong!)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cut off ends of the endive and pull apart into leaves. Cut leaves into bite size pieces, if you like, and put all leaves into a salad or serving bowl.

Pull off the leaves from the parsley sprigs and put them with the endive leaves. Pinch off the mint leaves and tear them into smaller pieces and add them to the mix. Cut the kumquats into quarters and throw them in.

In a small bowl, mix lemon juice, oil, and salt. Stir or whisk together an drizzle over salad. Toss salad to coat everything evenly with the dressing.