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 Logroño. 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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