We're celebrating Meatless Mondays with balanced, delicious meal plans. We hope you'll join us -- whether you're vegetarian all the time or just here and there.
Today: Go out with a bang and make this Monday night dinner a meal to remember.
For centuries, poets, artists, and philosophers the world over have spent countless hours contemplating the question of legacy. The great minds have asked, "How will we be remembered? What will we leave behind?" T.S. Eliot, eternal pessimist, wrote, "This is the way the world ends/ Not with a bang but a whimper."
If this all seems a bit heavy for a Monday night, forget all of the weighty questions and bite into a grilled chocolate sandwich. But if you're still following, we urge you to defy Eliot and end your meal with a bang. We promise that finishing a weeknight dinner with a buttery sandwich oozing with chocolate will earn this menu a place in Monday night history. Don't let your Monday nights die unremembered.
12 Belgian endives
6 tablespoons walnut oil
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
About 2 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (or 1/3 cup chocolate chips)
We're assuming that you already have olive oil, salt, pepper, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, and cinnamon in your kitchen. If not, add those to list as well.
1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Trim the bottoms of the endives and cut each in half, lengthwise. Toss the endives with olive oil and sea salt, then arrange them cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast until tender and browned, about 25 minutes.
2. In the meantime, prepare the vinaigrette. Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet until fragrant. Then, combine 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Slowly whisk in the walnut oil to emulsify, then stir in the toasted walnuts. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Next, get the grilled chocolate sandwiches ready. Cut 8 pieces of bread and butter one side of each slice generously. Chop the chocolate (or measure the chocolate chips) and set aside.
4. When the endives are ready, transfer them to a serving platter. Spoon the vinaigrette over top and use what remains to dress a salad of any leftover greens and vegetables you're likely to have in your refrigerator.
5. Now, for the grand finale; enlist help with the dinner clean up, then get out a skillet and cook 4 slices of bread -- butter side down -- over medium heat, until golden.
6. Cover 2 of the slices with chocolate and top each with one naked slice, butter side up. Cook, flipping the sandwiches as necessary, until the chocolate is soft and the sandwiches are brown on both sides. Repeat until you’ve made all 4 sandwiches. Serve immediately, sprinkled with a bit of sea salt or a dusting of cinnamon sugar as you please.
Photos by James Ransom