Bitter red leaf and pistachio salad with thick, gooey, gungy, garlic dressing

This bitter red leaf and pistachio salad with warm roasted garlic is good all year round, but in the winter you could add dried cranberries. You could serve the dressing on the end of the endive leaves with drinks; or you can serve the whole, mixed together, as a salad.

If you rinse endive leaves briefly under warm water they stay crisp, but lose some of their bitterness.


Recipe for bitter red leaf and pistachio salad with thick, gooey, gungy, garlic dressing

Serves 2


  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 red endive or radicchio
  • 4 tbsps pistachio kernels
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tsps grainy mustard
  • 3 tbsps red vermouth
  • 6 tbsps olive oil plus a little more  – maybe not this much – it needs to be more of a paste….
  • 1 tsp smoked salt
  • Urfa pepper flakes
  • A few spring onions or chives (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 210°C.
  2. Line a roasting tray with foil. Put the whole bulb of garlic on it (including all its skin etc), drizzle over some olive oil, and roast in the oven for about an hour.
  3. Make the rest of the dressing by mixing, in a small bowl, the thyme leaves, the mustard, the vermouth, the 6 tbsps olive oil, the salt and Urfa pepper flakes.
  4. Roughly chop the pistachios, and the endive. Put into a small salad bowl.
  5. When the hour is up for the garlic, take it out of the oven, and allow it to cool. When it’s cool enough to touch, cut it through, at the roots, with a VERY sharp knife. Squeeze the garlic, from the top, onto a chopping board, and mash.
  6. Add the garlic to the dressing.
  7. Serve either as amuse bouche, or as a salad.



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