Red & White Salad with Candied Pecans, Figs and Chèvre

by Chef Mark Tafoya

This colorful salad offers a series of contrasts, from smooth and crunchy textures to tart and sweet flavors. To serve it as hors d’oeuvres, serve the fillings in individual endive or radicchio leaves. Note: This recipe is featured in our Gilded Fork: Entertaining at Home Cookbook as part of the Harvest Celebration menu.

4 servings

Ingredients

3 endive heads, sliced crossways
1 radicchio head, torn into bite-sized pieces
4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
4 fresh figs, cut into wedges

For the candied pecans:
¾ cup pecan halves
5 tablespoons honey, divided

½ cup port wine
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

Prepare the candied pecans:
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the pecan halves with 3 tablespoons of the honey until well coated, and spread them out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes until they are glossy and somewhat toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Make the port reduction:
Place the port wine and remaining 2 tablespoons of honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce by half until the mixture reaches a thick and syrupy consistency.

Toss the sliced endive and the torn radicchio in a bowl with a little of the olive oil and just a little salt and pepper, to taste.

Service

Place a small mound of the endive and radicchio in the center of each serving plate. Place the quartered figs around them and sprinkle with small bits of the softened goat cheese. Drizzle a little of the port reduction around each salad and top with a few candied pecans.

Variation

Serve small mounds of the salad in individual endive leaves (see photo below).

Recipe and bottom photo: Mark Tafoya
Top photo: Jaden Hair

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