Belgian endive and radicchio are fantastic partners. Their colors compliment each other, as do their textures. The radicchio has a bit of bitterness to it while the endive has a softer more gentle flavor.
I have been eating a lot of different variations of this salad. It is great with apples or pears and some parmesan or blue cheese. It is tasty with a mustard vinaigrette or a lemon vinaigrette or an apple cider vinaigrette.
The Belgian endive leaves make a lovely appetizer when they are filled with any of the above combinations and drizzled with one of the vinaigrettes. The other night I opened my fridge and saw grapes which ended up being my favorite fruit for this salad. The grapes are sweet and sit well in the endive leaves; they add another flavor and texture dimension to the already complimentary pair of lettuces.
It is a good idea to tear and prepare the Belgian endive at the last minute because they bruise and brown easily once they are removed from their base.
The optional and annoying step of cutting the grapes in the recipe below is still one I would strongly recommend. They sit better in the salad and are more easily speared with a fork if they have been cut.
Belgian Endive, Radicchio and Grapes with Lemon Honey Vinaigrette
2 heads of Belgian endive
1/2 head of radicchio
1/2 cup grapes
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)
1 tsp honey
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Tear the leaves of the endive off their base and wash. Slice the radicchio into thin strips and wash. Spin the lettuces dry.
Cut the grapes in half.
In a small bowl, add the honey, lemon juice and whisk in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Put the endive, radicchio, grapes and (optional) cheese in a medium sized bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the top and mix gently.