Weekend Dish: Dive into endive and tilapia!

Summer has been especially hot this year, which has inspired me to make more salads. Not just any generic salads, though. Oh, no. I prefer to assemble a collection of goodies that don’t resemble rabbit food.

Here’s something I don’t see very often in China! Belgian endive is a popular choice with the fine dining crowd in the USA, and I was happy to find a few heads that still had fresh, unbruised leaves. I whacked them into eighths and pulled each leaf away from the stem, then tossed them into a large bowl with aioli, dried cranberries, and a handful of crushed assorted nuts.

Another interesting item, the “termite mushroom,” added some dense earthiness to the dish. I decided to simply sauté them in olive oil with a bit of garlic. While I worked on the ‘shrooms, I had a pot of sliced potatoes boiling. When the potatoes were fork-tender, I drained them and left them to air-dry while I finished cooking the mushrooms. After that, I fried the potato slices until they were golden brown and crunchy, and hit them with a little sea salt.

Nothing better than a beautifully-seared fillet of tilapia, right? Using only a little salt for seasoning, I browned this piece of fish with a small chunk of butter, and then placed it on top of the other stuff. I was so hungry I almost forgot to drizzle a few drops of Balsamic vinegar over the fish, but luckily I remembered to do that before devouring everything.