A wide selection of both domestic and imported blue cheeses is available these days, and they vary in texture and taste. For this salad, a modern riff on a classic, I like to use a blue cheese that is dry and crumbly, such as Cabrales or Valdeón, but a creamy Gorgonzola would also work.
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, and one-third of the cheese. Using a fork, mash in the cheese to create a vinaigrette. Stir in the shallots and pepper. Set aside.
You can quarter, slice, or chop the endives. If quartering, cut away most of the solid cone-shaped base from each endive, leaving only enough to hold each quarter together, then cut the endives lengthwise into quarters. Or, cut away the entire base and thinly slice or coarsely chop the leaves.
In a large bowl, combine the endive and apples and toss gently to mix. Divide among 4–6 plates. Crumble the remaining two-thirds of the cheese over the top, dividing it evenly, then pour the vinaigrette over the salads. Sprinkle with the walnuts and the chives. Serve at once.
© 2013 All rights reserved. Published by Weldon Owen.