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June 2024
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Endives with potato vinaigrette

The robust endives do not suffer from the warm potato vinaigrette, but on the contrary become a very tasty middle ground between salad and vegetable. However, they should not be allowed to stand around for long, but must rather be served quickly and, above all, warm.

Ingredients (serves 4): 1 large, beautiful head of endive lettuce, 500 g potatoes, floury cooking; 120 ml meat stock, 3-4 tbsp red wine vinegar, about 4 tbsp walnut oil, 2 shallots.

Remove the outer, dark green leaves from the lettuce, remove the rest from the stalk, wash well, dry in the salad spinner, lay one on top of the other and cut into fine strips.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes like normal boiled potatoes. Heat the stock and finely dice the shallots. Once the potatoes are cooked and steamed off, mash them with a fork and pour the puree into the blender jug.

Now add meat stock and run the blender to make a creamy sauce. This is sharpened with vinegar and walnut oil poured into it. It goes without saying that you have to taste it every now and then. Finally, add salt and pepper and fold in the shallot cubes. Pour the finely acidic potato vinaigrette over the endive strips, mix quickly and distribute the salad vegetables on the plates.

There are many things that go well with this; fried fish fillets (or even smoked fish) as well as fried or scrambled eggs or any roasted meat.


With Waldemar Thomas at Endivien-Reinheimer in Ginsheim

The endive is a variety of the chicory or Wegwarte, from which chicory also descends. While the latter (and root chicory, which used to be made into ersatz coffee) are of European origin, salad endive came to us from Egypt. It appears in various forms, which include, in addition to our firm, curly winter endive, the smooth variety called escarole. As well as romaine lettuce, the summer variety. Finally, the shaggy, delicate frisée, the finest of the lettuce divas.

My mother used to tie the heads of winter divas together with a rubber ring to keep the heart of the lettuce head bright and tender, but that is now superfluous. Because the new varieties are either bleaching themselves or you put the plantlets (in August) particularly tight, so that the leaves can not even spread and turn green. Because then they would taste (slightly) bitter, which the modern consumer does not like - although it is precisely the bitter substances of the plants that have healthy effects, they are particularly important for the metabolism of the liver.

The vegetable farmers Hans and Monika Reinheimer master the problem by planting a short-leaved variety whose leaves stay together nicely. By the way, endives only grow outdoors, the growers have not yet managed to get them used to the glasshouse. And when it gets cold, it's over with the lettuce of domestic gardeners, because endives do not tolerate frost. They turn brown and then nobody wants them anymore. Reinheimer explains that it is still possible to cover them with fleece at temperatures below zero and harvest them when they are dry, but they can only be stored for a maximum of ten days. As winter progresses, only endives from our southern neighbours come onto the market.

Andives, according to Hans Reinheimer, have lost none of their popularity, but frisée is on the rise. But it has to have a beautiful yellow heart and is more expensive the more yellow and bigger it is.

The market leader for endives with warm potato vinaigrette, his favourite winter salad, which can also pass for a vegetable, needs just such endives, i.e. with a distinctly bitter note. The dressing also makes frisée more mannerly. This goes well, one way or another, with fried fish or with many kinds of egg dishes. It also goes well with roast meat. Especially as a tasty as well as digestive alternative to the side dish mess that people load onto their plates for roast goose. That goes for sauerkraut, too; you can get homemade at the Reinheimers'.


Hans and Monika Reinheimer

Unter der Ruth 50

65462 Ginsheim (near Mainz)

Tel: 06144-938500, Fax: 938509

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from Waldemar Thomas