Endive Salad with Orange and Walnuts

published Oct 12, 2022
Endive Salad Recipe

Crisp and snappy endive leaves with a light orange vinaigrette, toasted walnuts, and Parmesan cheese.

Serves2 to 4

Prep5 minutes

Cook5 minutes to 7 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
A photo of an endive salad with crushed nuts and shaved cheese on top.
Credit: Perry Santanachote

Light, refreshing salad. These are not exactly the first words you might gravitate towards when thinking of a cold-weather dish to cozy up to. However, we’re approaching peak season for endive and oranges and it just so happens that the two go gloriously well together. Plus, you can’t live on soups and stews alone. 

My all-time favorite endive salad is the one at Estela in New York City. It features a funky anchovy vinaigrette and loads of cheesy, nutty crouton granola. When feeling ambitious, I make this recipe (get their cookbook!), but I rarely have it in me in the dead of winter. Maybe it’s the lack of vitamin D, or maybe it’s because a much simpler version is often just as satisfying. 

Here’s that simpler version, with a light orange vinaigrette, toasted walnuts, Parmesan, and way fewer dishes to clean up.

What Is Endive?

Endive belongs to the chicory family which also includes radicchio. It has a pronounced bitter flavor and a crisp texture. You can find Belgian endive year-round in most grocery stores. Each head of Belgian endive is small with tightly packed pale yellow leaves.

Credit: Perry Santanachote

What Does Endive Go Well With?

The bittersweet snap of endive goes with bright, citrusy or sweet foods, and on the opposite of the spectrum, funky robust flavors. Some good counterparts are as follows:

  • Anchovies
  • Smoked salmon
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Hard cheeses
  • Blue cheese
  • Charcuterie

How Do You Make Endive Less Bitter?

The best way to avoid bitter endive is to buy the right endive in the first place. When shopping for Belgian endive, look for leaves with a yellow rather than a green tip, but the whiter the better. Smart grocers will wrap their endives in paper to protect them from the light, which turns them green and bitter. If it’s too late and the endive on your plate is making your mouth squirm, tame the bitterness by adding more acid and more salt to the dressing.

Endive Salad Recipe

Crisp and snappy endive leaves with a light orange vinaigrette, toasted walnuts, and Parmesan cheese.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 5 minutes to 7 minutes

Serves 2 to 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1/3 cup

    raw walnuts halves

  • 3

    medium Belgian endives

  • 1

    medium navel orange

  • 1 tablespoon

    chardonnay or white wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

  • Flaky salt, for serving (optional)


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Arrange 1/3 cup raw walnuts halves on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until golden-brown, crisp, and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, trim an inch off the bottoms of 3 medium Belgian endives. Gently peel back and pop off the leaves, trimming the root as you go. Arrange the leaves on a large serving platter or bowl with the leaves curved side down so they look like little cups.

  3. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium navel orange evenly onto the leaves. Halve the orange juice one half into a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon chardonnay or white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. While whisking, slowly pour in 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and whisk until combined. Drizzle evenly over the endive leaves.

  4. Coarsely chop the walnuts and scatter over the salad. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a pinch of flaky salt if desired, or serve the salt on the side for people to add to taste.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The walnuts can be toasted, cooled, and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.