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Tomato, Endive and Asparagus Summer Salad

A friend of mine's mom made this salad for me when I visited them in southwest France several years ago. It was so colorful and delicious--relying on the simplicity of ripe and tasty, in-season vegetables. I've been making it for years when hosting summer cookouts. It's best served on a platter, which translates well to tailgating and homegating setups on game day. Enjoy!

Directions:

To Make the Dressing

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, Dijon mustard of your choice, white wine vinegar, a tiny pinch of salt and a dash of black pepper. Whisk well to emulsify. 
  2. Taste the dressing and add more vinegar in to your liking (add more if you like it more tart). 
  3. Add in the basil and about 1/2 cup of the parsley. Whisk again well and set aside.

To Make the Salad

  1. I like my asparagus grilled in this recipe but you can just as easily sauté the asparagus in a skillet on the stove. If you're grilling the asparagus, dust it with some sea salt and black pepper as well as extra virgin olive oil before placing it over medium to high heat, turning the asparagus once to grill all sides.
  2. Slice the pointed ends off the endive--about 3 inches down from the top. Keep them together, and set them aside. Then slice the harder ends off the endive heads, keeping the middle parts and tossing the rest. Pull those apart layer by layer--you'll use those middle pieces as the lettuce pieces in this salad.
  3. Hold your corn cobs upright, carefully using a knife to shave the corn off the cob into individual kernels. Save the kernels and dispose of the remaining cob parts.
  4. To plate this salad, start by lining your platter by alternating asparagus and endive segments. Then place about half your tomato slices in the middle, topped with about half your corn. Sprinkle the entire plate with a small pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Then top with about 1/4 of your dressing and some of your remaining parsley.
  5. Carefully place your endive tips among the tomatoes, pointy side down (they will resemble roses). Prop them up with more tomatoes and corn, adding your remaining corn and tomatoes to the middle amid the endive roses.
  6. Add your remaining asparagus (the 1" pieces) and the the rest of your parsley. Top with the rest of the dressing dressing, the feta cheese and another sprinkle of black pepper. Serve!

This is a recipe by
Hungry Fan
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