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Easy to put together and even more fun to eat, these Endive Boats with Roasted Beets, Blue Cheese & Pumpkin Seeds will be a hit at your holiday party!
The holidays are upon us and you know what that means — there is lots of entertaining to be had. Whether you are hosting a holiday soirée or attending one as a guest, it’s always good to have a few quick and easy appetizer ideas up your sleeve.
There are many things that go into the perfect holiday dish — color, texture, flavor, presentation. Presentation, especially, is key. You want guests to ooh and ahh when they see your dish lighting up the table. I am always one to work hard to make a dish look presentable — and when it doesn’t, I’ve been known to shed a couple tears or let out a shrill whining noise (because somehow, I expect that sound to fix whatever went wrong…). If I can manage to make something that looks pretty, tastes delicious and doesn’t take all of my energy to put together, I’m a happy camper. Enter the Endive Boat.
Endives are the perfect shape to hold whatever ingredients you want. Any combination of things you would throw together in a salad would make the perfect filling for any endive boat. My pick? Roasted beets, blue cheese and pumpkin seeds with a drizzle of olive oil on top. But not just any olive oil will do. I used lemon flavored olive oil from Nudo Italia, a fresh-tasting, new and brilliantly packaged olive oil that comes direct from Italy. Endive is a little on the bitter side, but still sweet enough to enjoy as a chip or cracker alternative with dips, or even braised, grilled or fried as a side dish. California Endive makes the perfect starter or side for your holiday gatherings. (Tasting note, white endives are less bitter than the red.)
There is so much contrast in textures and flavors in these Endive Boats with Roasted Beets, Blue Cheese & Pumpkin Seeds. You’ve got crisp endive that hits tons of tastebuds, sweet roasted beets, sharp, salty and crumbly blue cheese, and crunchy little pumpkin seeds to balance everything out. I brought these endive boats over to Bub’s one night while my mom was visiting and they both could not stop raving about how tasty they were.
Of course no appetizer is complete without the perfect wine pairing, am I right? Rios de Chile Chardonnay, from the Cachapoal Valley of Chile, works really nicely with these endive boats. It has aromas of pineapple, passion fruit and banana — I love all the tropical notes! For someone like myself who doesn’t particularly like chardonnay, I took to this one quite well. A crisp white wine would be my first choice for a tart appetizer like Endive Boats with Roasted Beets, Blue Cheese & Pumpkin Seeds, and the Rios de Chile did not disappoint. Looks like I can add Chilean chardonnay to my list of approved wines!
- 4 small red beets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- aluminum foil
- 2 red and 2 white fresh California endive heads
- 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- Nudo Italia Olive Oil with lemon
- salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Rub outsides of beets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Seal loosely in aluminum foil and arrange on prepared baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour.
- Allow beets to cool completely before handling.
- Unwrap from the foil and use a paper towel to carefully peel away the skin.
- Chop into small ½-inch cubes.
- Cut off the end of each endive head and separate the leaves (I only used the larger leaves)
- Arrange leaves onto a platter and fill with roasted beets.
- Sprinkle blue cheese and pumpkin seeds over top. Drizzle lemon olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by me on behalf of Nudo Italia, California Endive, and Rios de Chile. I was provided with free product as well as compensation for purchasing ingredients for the creation of a recipe.