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Ina Garten's Endive Orange Roquefort Salad.
Ina Garten's Endive Orange Roquefort Salad. / Renee Comet / USA Weekend
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Click here for a chance to win Ina Garten's new book, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof.

Nukes to cukes

Thirty-five years ago, Garten made the transition from politics to pie crusts, having worked for the Ford and Carter administrations on nuclear energy issues at the Office of Management and Budget.

You don't say!

Yes, there are two correct ways to pronounce endive. The ones with smooth whitish leaves are “on-deev.” Curly green varieties — including escarole and frisée — are “en-dive.”


Cook's note

“The zest of an orange has even more flavor than the juice,” says Garten. “So I zest it directly onto the salad for a bigger punch.”

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In the kitchen with Ina

“My cooking hasn’t changed, but my recipes are even more user-friendly,” says Food Network star Ina Garten. Her eighth cookbook aims to answer recipe questions before they’re asked: “I want people to feel like I’m standing in their kitchen with them.”

So what makes this salad foolproof? The always-available ingredients naturally play off one another — the nutty endive, the sharp cheese, the sweet orange. It’s a slam-dunk.

Endive, Orange & Roquefort Salad

For the vinaigrette
• ½ tsp. grated orange zest
• ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
• ¼ cup good olive oil
• 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad
• 2 heads Belgian endive
• ½ cup walnut halves, toasted (see recipe)
• 4 ounces French Roquefort cheese, ½-inch-diced (or any blue, such as Stilton or Danish blue)
• 1 sweet red apple, unpeeled, cored and medium-diced
• 4 ounces baby arugula
• 1 orange

In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, olive oil, vinegar, 1 tsp. salt and 1/3 tsp. pepper. Set aside.

Toast the walnuts in a dry sauté pan over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cut the heads of endive in half lengthwise, remove the triangle of core at the base of each half so the leaves separate, and cut the leaves in half again lengthwise. Place in a large bowl. Drizzle the leaves with the vinaigrette and add the walnuts, Roquefort and apple. Add the arugula and toss. Zest the orange into the salad with a strip zester. Peel the orange and remove the white pith around the orange with a small sharp knife. Cut the orange sections between the membranes and toss them on the salad. Discard the membranes. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

You can make the vinaigrette ahead, refrigerate it and assemble the salad just before serving.

Per serving: 250 calories, 12g carbohydrates, 7g protein, 21g fat (5g saturated), 4g fiber, 17mg cholesterol, 737mg sodium

Yield: 6 servings

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten, specialty food store owner turned TV host and author.

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