Recipe Corner: Guest Recipe Belgian Endive with Roquefort, Walnuts and Cranberries


By David Vartanian of the Vintage Press Restaurant, named one of America’s Best Chefs*

This salad with crunchy walnuts is for real blue cheese lovers.  Pair with a grilled steak or lamb chops and boiled baby red skin potatoes for a classic steak house meal.


Chef David Vartanian


Roquefort Dressing:

1/4 cup Roquefort cheese

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3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup buttermilk

2 limes, juice of

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Pinch black pepper



4 heads Belgian endive

1/4 cup cranberries, dried

1/2 cup California walnuts, coarsely chopped

4 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup Roquefort dressing, prepared



Roquefort dressing:

  1. Melt Roquefort cheese in the oven or in a pan on top of the stove, being very careful not to scorch. Let cool.
  2. In a bowl, combine the melted cheese, mayonnaise, buttermilk, juice of two limes, Worcestershire Sauce, cayenne, red wine vinegar, and black pepper; mix well until all ingredients are combined. If desired, add an additional 2 ounces of Roquefort cheese for an even more intense flavor.



  1. Trim the base of the endive using a diagonal cut, then separate the leaves.
  2. Toss the cranberries, nuts and Roquefort together in a bowl, being careful not to break up the Roquefort too much.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the endive leaves and garnish with the watercress. For advance preparation: Fill the Belgian endive leaves up to three hours before, cover and chill.  Garnish just before serving.  Drizzle with Roquefort Salad Dressing, as desired.


Chef David Vartanian is the award winning manager and chef at the Vintage Press Restaurant*

The Vintage Press Restaurant in Visalia, CA is renowned for its outstanding food and service.  Owned and operated by the Vartanian family since 1966, critics believe this is the best restaurant in the Sequoia region and a true fine-dining experience, with white tablecloths, plush red leather banquettes and exceptional service.  The Vintage Press Restaurant serves classic beef, lamb, seafood and specialty dishes. The menu encompasses a wide range of influences, meaning you could order the excellent lamb kebobs while your companion feasts on chile relleno.  Classic American dishes are quite well done, especially the restaurant’s famed filet mignon. The wine list is similarly superlative.

Wine Spectator magazine said the restaurant has “one of the best restaurant wine lists in the world,” while the Los Angeles Times called the restaurant “…a bastion of culinary merit.”

Frommer’ says the Vintage Press Restaurant is “the best restaurant between San Francisco and Los Angeles.”  Read what Frommer’s has to say about the Vintage Press Restaurant:

If you are in Visalia, visit the Vintage Press Restaurant, 216 N. Willis St. Visalia, CA 93291,




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