Endive is a leafy vegetable that forms a compact, spear shaped head. It has a slightly bitter, refreshing taste and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Endive peaks in late fall to early spring (just in time for holiday entertaining). The shape of the leaves make endive perfect for stuffing with a variety of sweet and savory delights. Today’s stuffed endive will feature goat cheese, apples and walnuts. The combination of tangy goat cheese, sweet apple and bitter leaf makes a nice snack or starter for a light meal.
When buying endive, look for heads with a pale green color. The outside leaves shouldn’t be too wilted and brown. Remove the leaves and give them a wash. Reserve the larger ones for stuffing, you should get four or five per head. Those too small to use can be chopped and added to soups or salads.
We’ve made a goat cheese spread before for stuffing into roasted red peppers. The tang of goat cheese works well with a variety of flavors. I chose apple and walnut today since I had both of them available. When buying the goat cheese, make sure to pick a plain, spreadable variety instead of one with a rind.
The variety of apple isn’t important as long as you like it. I left the peel on the apple to provide a little color. I used walnuts, but you’ll need less than a quarter cup so if you have another nut available feel free to use it.
- 1 – 2 endive heads, cleaned with larger leaves reserved
- 3 – 4 ounces goat cheese
- 3 – 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts (reserve a tablespoon for sprinkling over top)
- 1 – 2 teaspoons honey, plus more for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon thyme, plus more for garnish
- 1 medium apple, cored and chopped finely (reserve some for sprinkling over top)
- Mix the goat cheese and walnuts with the honey and thyme in a small bowl. Use a fork to help smash the cheese.
- Add the apples and stir to mix.
- Divide the goat cheese spread between the leaves and arrange on a plate.
- Garnish with the remaining nuts and apples. Drizzle some more honey over the leaves.
- Any leftover spread can be served with crackers or toasts. We didn’t have any leftover, but I’m sure it would be great on a cracker or crispbread.