This endive salad combines delicately bitter red endive leaves, sweet orange segments, salty parmesan shavings, buttery toasted almonds, and crunchy homemade croutons. It's an easy winter salad recipe that's elegant enough for a dinner party, but so delicious you'll want to make it for yourself all year round!

an overhead photo of endive salad in a serving bowl.
Photo Credits: Andrea Gralow

This beautiful endive salad is my favorite way to take advantage of the juicy citrus available at this time of year. And the best part? It’s super easy to make. 

The perfect combination of bitter endive, bright citrus, rich parmesan cheese, and aromatic fresh croutons make this winter salad dinner party-worthy. It's all bathed in a sherry vinegar and anchovy dressing that's umami-rich and totally irresistible! And feel free to substitute the anchovies for Kalamata olives to make a vegetarian version.

You can serve this winter salad as an appetizer in individually plated portions. Or serve it family-style on a large platter alongside mains like Roasted Chicken or Cauliflower Steaks. Whichever path you take, prepare to sit back and receive the compliments! 

Food Stories: Inspiration for this Winter Salad Recipe

I was inspired to make this endive salad recipe by an insanely delicious appetizer at Chef Ignacio Mattos’ esteemed restaurant, Estela, in New York City. That dish–which was, in my opinion, life-changing!–was served with an abundance of white endive leaves.

The leaves weren't your typical salad greens; Rather, they served as the perfect vessel for scooping up a tasty combination of Ubriaco Rosso cheese, walnuts, and anchovies. He tossed everything in a zesty orange dressing. It was a taste and texture sensation that I still daydream about to this day!

Here, I have taken the elements and flavors of that iconic dish and turned it into a stunning salad with ingredients you can easily find at almost any grocery store. Good quality produce can hold its own, but something about the marriage of these ingredients hits the spot! 

Table of Contents
  1. Food Stories: Inspiration for this Winter Salad Recipe
  2. What is in this Endive Salad Recipe?
  3. What is Endive?
  4. How to Make this Endive Salad Recipe 
    1. Get the Ingredients Ready
    2. Just before serving: Assemble the salad.
  5. Ways to Make This Winter Salad Recipe Your Own
  6. What to Serve with Endive Salad
  7. Dinner Party-Worthy Salad Recipes
  8. Endive Salad with Rosemary Croutons and Citrus Recipe
ingredients to endive salad including red endive, white endive, slivered almonds, crusty bread, olive oil, rosemary, salt, pepper, anchovies, garlic, oranges, sherry vinegar, honey, and parmesan cheese.

What is in this Endive Salad Recipe?

The ingredients in this endive salad are highly complementary—a delicious combination of sweetness, acidity, subtle bitterness, and saltiness, along with various textures and colors. 

  • Almond slivers are toasted in a dry skillet until golden brown, enhancing the sweetness and nuttiness! 
  • Crusty bread becomes rustic stove-top croutons, bringing a crunchy texture and adding a little heartiness to the salad. Ciabatta, French baguette, or focaccia all work well—and it’s a perfect way to use up bread that may have seen better days! 
  • Fresh rosemary leaves add an herbaceous, aromatic flavor to the croutons. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil crisps up the croutons and adds smoothness to the bright and astringent flavors in the dressing. Use a high-quality extra virgin variety, like a smooth Italian Nocellara, or Spanish Hojiblanca for a peppery kick.
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper are used moderately to season. I like to use kosher salt as it’s not aggressively salty, which is helpful when using salty ingredients like anchovies and Parmesan.
  • Anchovies are a key ingredient in the dressing. A few canned (or jarred) anchovies in olive oil add an umami and salty kick. If you'd like to make this salad vegetarian, finely mince kalamata olives and replace the anchovies in the dressing with the olives.
  • Fresh orange juice, zest, and segments are all used to add citrusy juice bombs and aroma to each bite! 
  • Garlic is finely grated into the dressing for some oomph! 
  • Sherry vinegar is nutty and tangy, bringing some complex acidity and zing. It also pairs well with the orange and anchovies. 
  • Honey adds sweetness to balance the citrusy dressing. 
  • Red endive leaves are the salad's foundation and the star of the show! The mild bitterness and crispy texture are the ideal accompaniment to all the ingredients.
2 heads of red endive, 2 heads of white endive and a sprig of rosemary in a bowl.

What is Endive?

Endive is part of the Chicory family of vegetables which also includes escarole, frisée, and radicchio. There are two kinds of endive: Curly and Belgian. Belgian endive is red is green and shaped a bit like a small American football. It's what I use in this salad recipe. Curly endive is green, and, well, curly. You can use them all interchangeably in this recipe and it will work.

  • White endive leaves have very pale green tips and tend to have a slightly stronger bitter note than their red cousins.
  • Red endives are usually available year-round. They are mostly imported from Belgium, which can make them a little pricier than domestic salad leaves. They are worth the splurge! (Trader Joe’s offers a highly affordable combo package of red and white endives if you happen to have a nearby store.) 
  • Curly endive, also known as frisée, is the lacy lettuce used in the French classic Salade Lyonnaise. 
  • Escarole is a broad-leaf endive popular in Italian cuisine. It is, perhaps, most famously used in Italian wedding soup. It can, however, be difficult to find in the US.
  • Radicchio is bright purple with white veins. It is circular in shape and its leaves form cups. You can grill it or use it in salads like this Radicchio Salad with Pears, Feta and Walnuts.

All endive have a slightly bitter undertone, which is why they can hold up to bold flavors like citrus, smoked fish, blue cheese, or salty cheese. Endive is not limited to cold dishes; they are also delicious when you grill or braise them.

To keep red or white endive crisp and fresh: Wrap each head in a damp paper towel, place in a sealed Ziplock bag, and store in the fridge for up to 4 to 5 days. 

an overhead photo of endive salad in a serving bowl.

How to Make this Endive Salad Recipe 

You can prepare all of the components for this winter salad recipe a few hours ahead of time. Just be sure to keep them in separate containers. Dress the salad just before serving so everything stays crisp and crunchy.

Get the Ingredients Ready

  • Prep the crouton ingredients: Ready yourself rustic pieces of torn bread of varying sizes–you’ll want about 2 cups’ worth. Finely chop enough rosemary leaves to yield 1 tablespoon. 
  • Toast the nuts: In a large dry skillet over medium heat, add ½ cup almond slivers. Cook, stirring until the nuts are golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a large plate to cool.slivered almonds being toasted in a skillet.
  • Make the croutons: Return the skillet to medium heat and add the torn bread. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, then sprinkle with the rosemary and ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper. Cook, tossing until the bread is toasted, crispy, and golden brown—6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to the plate along with the nuts to cool. pieces of crusty bread being toasted in a skillet.
  • Make the dressing: Finely mince 3 anchovy fillets and add to a large salad bowl. Grate in 1 garlic clove using a microplane or very fine grater (or you can mince it). Squeeze in 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Add 1 ½ tablespoons sherry vinegar and 2 teaspoons honey. Whisk until everything is nicely combined, then continue whisking as you drizzle in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and whisk until smooth.dressing for the endive salad in a small bowl with a whisk.
  • Zest and peel the orange: Zest enough orange to get 1 teaspoon of zest and set the zest aside for later. Trim the top and bottom off 2 oranges. Place each orange on the cut side so it sits flat. Slice along the contour from top to bottom, removing the peel and pith and leaving as much of the juicy orange segments as possible. 
  • Segment the orange. You'll see the natural segments of the orange separated by thin membranes. Use a small knife to cut along each membrane, segmenting the fruit without the bitter pith.
  • Prep the endive: Trim off the bottom stem of 4 heads of red endive, then use your hands to pull them apart into individual leaves.

Just before serving: Assemble the salad.

  • Mix and dress. To the bowl with the dressing, add the endive leaves, orange segments, rosemary croutons, and toasted almonds. Shave in about ¾ cup of shaved parmesan. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with a little more salt and black pepper, if desired. Garnish with 1 teaspoon of reserved orange zest. Serve immediately. a close up of endive salad in a serving bowl.

Ways to Make This Winter Salad Recipe Your Own

This endive salad recipe is easily adaptable. You can swap out some of the ingredients to suit your personal taste, what’s available in your fridge, pantry, or at the store. Here are some ideas for alternatives and substitutes:

  • Red endive: A mix of white endive and radicchio 
  • Blood oranges: Mandarins, cara cara, or any seedless orange segments
  • Parmesan cheese: Pecorino Romano or manchego cheese
  • Almonds: Hazelnuts or walnuts
  • Sherry Vinegar: Red wine vinegar
  • Anchovies: If you want to make the dressing vegetarian, add a tablespoon of minced Kalamata olives instead
  • Homemade nuts/croutons: Regular store-bought croutons and pre-toasted almond slivers.
a close up of endive salad.

What to Serve with Endive Salad

As an appetizer or light lunch, this endive salad recipe can hold its own as a solo star player, but it also goes well alongside a piece of grilled salmon or pork chop, as the astringent flavor cuts through the fattiness of the meat and fish beautifully.

A crisp Pinot Grigio pairs exceptionally well with this salad. In fact, it was tried, tested, and given the seal of approval by my family at Thanksgiving this year! 

Dinner Party-Worthy Salad Recipes

5 from 1 vote

Endive Salad with Rosemary Croutons and Citrus

Headshot of writer Tara Holland.Tara Holland
an overhead photo of endive salad in a serving bowl.
Elegant and simple, this dinner party-worthy salad recipe is a beautiful balance of flavors and textures. All of the components can be prepared a few hours ahead of time–simply keep the oranges, dressing, and endives in separate containers in your refrigerator and the croutons and toasted nuts covered at room temperature. Dress the salad just before serving to keep everything crisp and crunchy!
Prep – 15 minutes
Cook – 30 minutes
Total – 45 minutes
Cuisine:
American/Mediterranean
Serves – 6
Course:
Salad

Ingredients
  

For the Toasted Nuts and Croutons

  • ½ cup (2 oz) slivered almonds
  • 4 ounces good crusty bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (crusts discarded, about 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For The Anchovy Dressing

  • 3 anchovy fillets, minced (optional, see note)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated or minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad

  • 3 cara cara or navel oranges
  • 4 heads red endive, or a mix of red and white, trimmed and leaves separated
  • ¾ cup shaved parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Toast the nuts. In a large dry skillet over medium heat, add the almond slivers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a large plate to cool.
  • Make the croutons. Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the torn bread. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with the rosemary and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Cook, tossing the bread occasionally, until it's toasted, crispy, and golden brown —6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to the plate along with the nuts to cool.
  • Make the dressing. In a salad bowl, combine the anchovies, garlic, orange juice, sherry vinegar, and honey. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth—season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  • Zest and peel the orange. Zest enough of the orange to get 1 teaspoon of zest and set aside for later. Trim the top and bottom off the oranges. Working with one at a time, place the orange on the cut side so it sits flat. Slice along the contour of the orange from top to bottom, removing its peel and pith and leaving as much of the juicy orange segments as possible.
  • Segment the orange. You'll see the natural segments of the orange separated by thin membranes. Use a small knife to cut along each membrane, segmenting the fruit without the bitter pith.
  • Just before serving: assemble the salad. To the bowl with the dressing, add the endive, orange segments, Parmesan, the rosemary croutons, and toasted almonds. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with a little more salt and black pepper, if desired. Garnish with the 1 teaspoon of reserved orange zest. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • To make the dressing vegetarian: Add a tablespoon of minced Kalamata olives in place of the anchovies.
  • To keep red or white endive crisp and fresh: Wrap each head in a damp paper towel, place in a sealed Ziplock bag, and store in the fridge for up to 4 to 5 days.
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams, and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 309kcalCarbohydrates: 23.3gProtein: 10gFat: 20.6gSaturated Fat: 4.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.8gMonounsaturated Fat: 12.5gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 10.2mgSodium: 655.4mgPotassium: 328.7mgFiber: 4.7gSugar: 10.1gVitamin A: 278.6IUVitamin C: 39mgCalcium: 237.4mgIron: 1.5mg
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Tara Holland is a British mom of two teenage girls residing in Brooklyn. She
changed her successful career midlife from the corporate financial world to
follow her culinary dream and graduated with honors from the Institute of
Culinary Education in 2017. She started in the test kitchen and went on to
become an assistant food editor at Rachael Ray Every Day magazine and is
now a freelance recipe developer, writer, recipe tester, and (occasional)
assistant food stylist for a variety of mediums, such as The New York Times, NBC, The Kitchn, Suvie Food, Food 52, and now The Mediterranean Dish.
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