Endive Salad with Cabrales Cheese and Oranges

Cabrales is a spectacular blue cheese from Asturias that is famous throughout Spain and is becoming better known abroad. Salty and intensely flavored, it is a treat whether served alone with bread and cider or wine or added to a salad, as in this recipe.

  • Serves 4
  • Difficulty: easy

Ingredients

  • 24 large Belgian endive leaves, each 3 to 4 inches long (from 3 or 4 heads)
  • 2 ounces Cabrales at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  • 3 large oranges
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Preparation

Carefully cut off a horizontal slice from the base of each endive leaf so that the leaf will remain upright and the cheese filling will not spill out of the base.

In a bowl, combine the cheese and the yogurt. Using a fork, mash together until a smooth paste forms. Line up the leaves, hollow side up, on a tray, and place 1 teaspoon of the mixture into each leaf. Sprinkle the almonds evenly on top of the cheese mixture.

Working with 1 orange at a time, cut a thin slice off the top and bottom and stand the orange upright on cutting board. Using a sharp knife, and following the contour of the fruit, cut off the orange peel and the white pith beneath it in wide strips. Holding the orange in one hand over a bowl, cut along both sides of each segment, freeing it from the membrane and allowing it to drop into the bowl. When all the segments are freed, use the tip of the knife to remove any visible seeds. Repeat with the remaining oranges.

Arrange 6 filled endive leaves on each of 4 plates. Tuck the orange segments attractively around them. Sprinkle the parsley over the filled leaves and orange segments, and serve.

See also...

Asturias is a magnificent natural sea, mountain and country paradise with a very diverse environment. Protected on one side by the Bay of Biscay and on the other by the Picos de Europa mountain range, this region has always been isolated and protected from possible invasions and therefore has many deep-routed traditions and rituals.

Cabrales is a blue cheese typical from Asturias. If you like strong cheese, you will simply love Cabrales.

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