Easy and quick endive with blue cheese, pecans, and cranberries is a delicious and elegant appetizer for a weeknight dinner or a big party. It takes only minutes to make and can be prepared in advance. Healthy and full of complex flavour.
I was never a fan of big hearty salads. The ones that have lettuce, chicken, beans, quinoa, sun-dried tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, and nuts. Actually, now that I read these ingredients, that salad sounds pretty good. Well, I ate those salads, but they were never my favourite. My heart always had affinity for a simple combination of mixed greens with salty and pungent blue cheese, crunchy and buttery pecans, and chewy and sweet cranberries. So simple, so light, so elegant. This is my favourite salad, or, shall I say, it was my favourite salad. When I could actually eat salads.
As of about a year and a half ago I can’t have greens, along with asparagus, bok choi, and a few other vegetables and grains. Food intolerance. After months of pills, doctors appointments, and tests, in the end I figured it out on my own – benign watery lettuce was the culprit. I went to see my doctor with the discovery. He said I was getting older. My husband said I should find a new doctor.
And yet, I still love the combination of cheese, nuts, and fruit. I use it in savoury breads, in appetizers, and just as a cheese platter. Blue cheese is my favourite to eat with pecans and cranberries, but I use creamy goat cheese, crumbly old Parmeggiano Regiano, or even feta too. For nuts I strongly prefer pecans, but walnuts, almonds, or pine nuts would work well. As for the sweetness, dried cranberries are easy, I always have them in my pantry, but in the fall I use juicy pears or crisp apples; in the summer I use jammy strawberries; and on occasion I use caramel dates. As long as there’s the perfect balance of salty cheese, nuts, and something sweet I’ll be happy.
I can’t have lettuce anymore, but I can have endive, so I make a bite-sized version of my favourite salad. Chopped nuts, and cranberries are mixed with blue cheese, and then endive boats are filled with the mixture. It’s a great hors d’oeuvres, easy to prepare, easy to eat without a plate. It tastes delicious and looks impressive.
If you don’t believe that this appetizer is really easy to make, then watch the video below. You can chop pecans and cranberries a few days in advance, thus saving time on prep. This is a great hors d’oeuvres for a party, and I always love preparing as many things as possible in advance. You can even prepare the blue cheese mixture a day or two before the event and keep it tightly covered in the fridge.
Easy endive with blue cheese, pecans, and cranberries
10 hors d’oeuvres
Endive – 1Pecans – 2 tablespoons (~ 15 g)Dried cranberries – 1 tablespoon (~ 7 g)Blue cheese – 2 tablespoons (~ 25 g)
- Roughly chop the pecans.
- Chop the dried cranberries to about the same size as pecans,
- In a small bowl combine chopped pecans, cranberries, and blue cheese. Mix with a fork until well incorporated.
- Separate the endive into individual leaves.
- Place a spoonful of blue cheese mixture into each leaf and serve.