I’m knuckling down to writing the Cooking the Detectives book, and next week is POIROT week. But which screen representation of Poirot? Chatting to some friends about Miss Marple, we all agreed that everyone has their favourite Marple, but I’m guessing the big Agatha Christie fans have their favourite Poirot too. Although the book is focused on TV detectives, I think I’ll make an exception for these two characters because what is a book about the screen’s greatest sleuths without Rutherford

and Finney?

But what of David Soul’s salad dressing?  It is delicious!  Highly recommended and extra special in my book as it prompted me to get something I rarely buy but always enjoy when I do – endive.  This is one of those confusing ingredients that goes by a different name here in the UK.  Here, endive is this…

but in the USA, it’s this

We call this chicory.  I have no idea what chicory would get you if you asked for it in a shop in the USA, but endive/chicory – especially the red variety – looks very pretty when you plop something nice on the end of it and lay it out on a plate.

I agree with Mr Soul that this would make a very tasty, refreshing and light starter for a party platter, but I made 3 of his four suggestions just for me, myself and I (I didn’t do the orange sections with blue cheese or goats cheese although I do fancy that for another time).  It felt very elegant to be walking around my kitchen after deciding which one I wanted to eat next, parading around with it like one of those chicks in the “woman laughing alone with salad” pix.

So I say, treat yourself if you are eating alone, or select one, two, three or even all four of David’s suggested toppings and bung them on a salad platter if you are entertaining.

Here in the UK, I don’t think I’ve ever been asked the question “soup or salad?” in a restaurant, but I know this is a thing in the USA.

If your answer to this question is always soup and you are a salad swerver and a Starsky & Hutch fan, you might prefer Paul Michael Glaser’s Curried Squash Soup.

David Soul Torino Dressing

1 cup light virgin olive oil

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup orange juice, perferably freshly squeezed

1 tablespoon sugar

Fresh (or approximately 2 tablespoons dried) herbs and spices of your choice

Combine all the above ingredients in a large jar or bottle and shake together vigorously. Store in the refrigerator. The longer the dressing sits, the smoother and more tasty it becomes.

Serving Suggestion: David’s favorite salad is simply endive that is pulled apart or chopped into little rings. Rinse the leaves in cool water and air dry, or put the leaves in the refrigerator to dry–this creates a firmer leaf. Once the endive is separated or chopped, dried, and chilled, arrange the leaves on salad plates. Another way to have endive as a starter is to use the whole leaves that have been separated, rinsed, and chilled. Thinly spread the leaves with a mixture of cream cheese and finely chopped green olives and pimiento pieces. Or sprinkle the chilled leaves with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and crumble on bleu cheese and finely chopped walnuts.

For toppings, my favorite combination is a simple one of chopped walnuts and a few raisins or sultanas and 1 or 2 splashes of the dressing. However, quite often, I dress it up with chopped orange sections and bleu or goat cheese crumbles. Also tasty (when in season) are chopped seedless grapes, chopped cranberries, or chopped apples–or whatever tart ingredients are around! In any combination, this dressing makes a tasty, refreshing, and light starter that’s suitable for party platters. Enjoy!

Makes 6+ servings


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