Watercress & Endive Salad with Caramelized Georgia Pecans & Blue Cheese Dressing


  • Caramelized Georgia pecans
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup Georgia pecan halves
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Blue cheese dressing
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (preferably made with extra virgin olive oil) or commercial mayonnaise
    • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 1 tablespoon creme fraiche or sour cream
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
    • 2 teaspoons Cognac or brandy
    • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (preferably Roquefort)
  • Salad greens
    • About 30 leaves Belgian endive
    • 2 cups frisee (curly endive)
    • 2 cups watercress


Caramelized Georgia pecans

For the pecans, combine water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until mixture boils and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in pecans.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Remove pecans from simple syrup, and while still moist dredge in remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Carefully place coated pecans on baking sheet and bake 2 – 3 hours, or until pecans caramelize but don’t burn. Set aside.

Blue cheese dressing

For the dressing, place mayonnaise in a medium bowl and stir in garlic, creme fraiche, parsley and Cognac. Fold in blue cheese and stir until well distributed. Chill.

Salad greens

When ready to plate salad, trim 2 inches off bottom of endive leaves, chop and place in mixing bowl along with frisee and watercress leaves. Toss with only enough of the dressing to moisten leaves.

Place remaining endive leaves, close together in a fan or circle around plate. Place a portion of the mixed greens in the center of leaves. Scatter with caramelized pecans. Drizzle some dressing lightly over fanned endive leaves.

Per serving: 470 calories, 31 g total fat (6 g saturated), 21 mg cholesterol, 47 g carbohydrate, 241 mg sodium.