08 January 2014

Virtual Supper Club - Retro Food

They say that everything old is new again ... music styles, clothing trends, political trends, graphics in media, and yes, food trends! Well, this month's Virtual Supper Club just goes to show you that some of the recipes from our mother's cookbooks are coming back around the dinner table and they are glorious!

Looking at this small platter of endive spears and curried crabmeat salad, I feel like I should have a crinoline-poofed house dress, spiky heels, a headband in my flipped shoulder-length hair, and super-defined lipstick. Just call me Donna Reed because with this plate of retro, tussy-mussy small bites, I can see myself at a 60's neighborhood cocktail party. Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra make the play list, the guys are making the cocktails and pouring a snappy, crisp white wine and I am circulating the party, passing these small bites. Totally delish and totally easy to make ... but don't tell anyone.

This month's Virtual Supper Club's theme is 'Retro Food'. When I typed in retro food, I  had a ball looking at molded Jello salads, warming dishes filled with Swedish meatballs and warm shrimp dip, high towers of olives and cold shrimp pinned in place with jazzy toothpicks and surrounded by parsley sprigs, holiday party platters filled with 'dressed up' Vienna sausages and stuffed olives. There was even a faux crown roast made with hotdogs ... yeah, hotdogs. Then, I happened upon a photo gallery of retro hors d'oeuvres posted by Saveur's on-line magazine. A look through brought me to this recipe.

Simple, easy to lighten up calorie-wise, and very light on the palate. A perfect start to a meal, I thought. To boot, not an assault on the sensibilities! Ha!

Belgian Endive Spears with Curried Crab Salad
an adapted Saveur recipe

Serves 8 … four spears per serving


6 tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise
2 tsp. curry powder
1 large clove garlic, minced
Leaves from 5 sprigs fresh tarragon, minced
Leaves from 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, minced
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¾ lb. lump crab meat, picked over
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
4 -5 head Belgian endive, leaves separated, rinsed and patted dry

Making the Dish:

  1. Mix the mayo, curry powder, minced garlic, and green herbs together in a deep bowl.
  2. Toss in the picked over lumps of crab meat, sprinkle on the lemon juice, and toss gently with two forks to break up the crab a bit and thoroughly mix the dressing throughout.
  3. Prep the endive spears and wash and drain the cherry tomatoes.
  4. Spoon 1 tbsp. of crab meat salad onto the root end of each endive spear and arrange on a platter.
  5. Mound the tomatoes in the center and cover loosely. Chill.
  6. Serve on a buffet table or make smaller 'pretty' platters and pass with glasses of chilled white wine … we liked Pinot Grigio.
As you can see, my job this month was to contribute a 'starter' to the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club's retro dinner menu ... now, take a look at what other members have contributed!

Retro Dinner Menu

Starter - Susan's Belgian Endive Spears with Curried Crab Salad

Vegetable Side Dish - Jerry's Classic Green Bean Casserole

How's THAT for a flash from the past! Now get into your party duds and let's have a swanky dinner party!
I've got my outfit all picked out!


  1. Now see, I'd love something like that! Over here it'd be cheese and pineapple on sticks or hotdogs on sticks. Hilarious!

  2. as a baltimoron, I cannot condone crab in this use! Lol I would love to try this with a white firm fish or even chicken!

    1. Hahaha! Just so you know, Sarah, I empathize ... I halved the recipe so I could reserve some of the crabmeat to make Maryland crab cakes! Bring on the Old Bay!

  3. Great choice, Susan. I have always coveted an endive appetizer. I think crab is perfect in this.

    1. I have to admit ... I'd never had endive until today ... it's got a soft sweetness that surprised me ... and such a nice crunch when you bite into the rib of the leaf ... it went very well with the soft salad ...

  4. I like your outfit Susan, the recipe, the memories from the past. I remember the jello salads and the Swedish meatballs.

  5. MMMMM -this would have been amazing at New Year's!


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