Endive with Spiced Chickpea Puree & Salsa Verde; Manchego, Quince Paste, Rosemary Crackers & Spanish Soria Sausages


Endives, although on the pricey side used as an appetizer or hor d'oeuvre base, seem to add an elegant aesthetic touch to the presentation. With its pale, perfectly boat-shaped leaves with just a tiny tinge of yellow-green to the feathery thin edges, it cannot help but look cute lined up on a plate. This time carrying a dollop of warm spiced chickpea puree brightened by a spoonful of herby salsa verde.

The chickpea puree is quite easy to make. I sweated some onion and garlic with thyme for a few minutes then added drained chickpeas to the pan. Then add your choice of spices. Mine were paprika and cayenne. Then add a bit of chicken stock. A few minutes of whirl in the processor and you got chickpea puree. Taste and adjust liquid, salt, pepper, and olive oil to your taste.

Although I did buy the hugest Thai mortar and pestle that's been sitting on my counter, I decided to chop up the herbs for the salsa verde. So parsley, mint, garlic, anchovy, capers, lemon juice, and olive oil all mixed up together for a vibrant sauce.

I also served a cheese plate of Manchego, quince paste and The Fine Cheese Co's rosemary crackers. I haven't had Manchego in a while but that first bite reminded me of its delicious flavor. Semi-soft, a slight tang and nuttiness. It's quite easy to keep popping in your mouth. Maybe too easy.

A plate of Soria sausage accompanied the cheese plate.
Soria or Spanish Girl sausage: This variety originated in Old Castille around Soria and LogroƱo. Although actually a sausage, it resembles a gently seasoned, lean pork loin with a concentrated meaty taste. The meat is diced by hand, seasoned, and cured overnight to reduce its moisture. The mixture is then tightly packed into natural, Portuguese net-like casings and air-dried for three months. Simply eat it sliced and in sandwiches. [www.laespanolameats]

Cured sausage, what would I do without cured sausage? I would wither away.

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Grant said...

This looks fantastic! I love chickpeas and this puree sounds delicious. I love manchego too. And speaking of cheese, I have to tell you about this really fun thing I did last night that I think you'd enjoy. That is, if you haven't done it already. The Cheese Shop of Beverly Hills does a cheese and wine tasting once a month. It's $55 and basically they take over the patio at the Shakey's, right next door and everyone sits at tables and are given VERY generous planks of cheese and flights of matching wines. Last night it was American artisinal cheeses and Central California Coast wines. It was great. Then as a part of the deal, you get 20% off at the Cheese shop. I picked up this really interesting blue cheese that is smoked. It has such great flavor. You should check it out.

♥dex said...

Mmm, manchego y membrillo - I liiike!

yoony said...

hi grant,

smoked blue cheese?! that sounds so delicious. it brings to mind a slab of bacon on the side. the tasting sounds fun and i'll definitely check it out. i've been meaning to check out that bh cheesestore. i like how they use shakey's. :) put that place to some sort of good use, huh?

hi dex,

i like too! and i like you! so come back to LA and have some manchego and membrillo with me. :)