Endive with Pear and Blue Cheese makes an elegant appetizer for any special event or gathering. It has a bit of crunch, creamy and punchy vinegar deliciousness! This recipe is vegetarian + gluten free.
This past week, I tried a new veggie. Well, new to me. It was at the International Food Bloggers’ Conference in Seattle where food bloggers gather once a year to learn, mingle with chefs, sommeliers and authors, sample a wonderful assortment of food and connect with other bloggers. California Endive Farm was there and offered a sampling of their delicious endive. Just when I thought I had met every vegetable, I’m introduced to a new one!
Since pears are in season and I had this lovely endive on hand, I thought I would pull together a fresh appetizer utilizing both ingredients. While endive with pear and blue cheese makes an elegant appetizer, this recipe can easily be turned into a salad by simply chopping the endive.
Endive is a sturdy and crunchy leafy vegetable that has a slightly bitter flavor. Because endive leaves are so sturdy, they make a good vehicle for dips and hold added ingredients in place. Since endive is slightly bitter, it pairs well with various cheeses, fruits and nuts.
Endive has one calorie per leaf, is a good source of potassium, reduces the risk of cancer, is high in fiber and promotes digestive health. It’s available year round too!
For this recipe, I used d’Anjou pears. They’re in season and pair well with the slight bitterness of endive. d’Anjou pears are sweet and juicy and offer a hint of citrus flavor.
You’ll notice pears in stores are generally firm to the touch. This is because pears are harvested before they’re ripe. To ripen, place pears in a brown paper bag at room temperature and check them each day. You’ll know the pears are ready when the surface, near the stem, yields to gentle pressure.
Pears have many nutritional benefits including being high in fiber and vitamin C. They are packed with antioxidants, protective against cancer and are anti-inflammatory.
My favorite ways to enjoy pears is on a salad or in a smoothie, and now, with endive!
Endive with Pear and Blue Cheese
- 2 Heads of Endive ends trimmed and separated
- 1/8 C Walnuts
- 1/4 C + 2 Tbs Blue Cheese small crumbles or chopped
- 3/4 C Pear small dice (about 1 pear)*
- 2-3 tsp Balsamic Vinegar high quality
- 2 Fresh Thyme Stems , leaves removed
- Preheat the oven to 350. Place walnuts on a sheet pan in a single layer. Toast for 8-10 minutes. They should smell fragrant. Remove from oven and pan by placing the walnuts on a cutting board or on a plate. Set aside to cool.
- Trim the end of the each endive and separate the leaves. Use the largest leaves for the appetizer and save the smallest ones for your next salad. Set aside.
- Add the chopped blue cheese and pear to a small bowl and mix gently. Set aside. Chop the walnuts to a fine chop.
- On each endive leaf, spoon about 1 1/2 tsp of the pear/cheese mixture on the blunt end of the leaf. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of finely chopped walnuts over the pear/cheese mixture on each leaf. Drizzle 1/8 tsp of balsamic vinegar over the walnuts on each piece of endive. Sprinkle each piece with fresh thyme leaves.
- Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from California Endive Farm.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
Disclosure: I attended the International Food Bloggers Conference at a reduced rate in exchange for writing three posts about the conference. All opinions are my own. This is my first post.
Could you email me the number of servings the Endive with Pear and blue cheese will make? Thanks
Hi Lisa! This recipe makes 20 pieces, so for two pieces each (and this depends on how many pieces each person eats), it’ll serve 10.
Can’t wait to make this. My husband is a blue cheese fan, not so much me.
Without breaking any “bloggers” code and you please recommend what blue cheese you use?
Waiting for an answer ASAP. Thank you oh so much.
Hey Lexy! I love this simple recipe. I like Organic Valley Blue, but it can be hard to find. Otherwise I get Point Reyes Blue from our local cheesemonger. I hope this helps!
Yum! Yum! Gorgeous and delicious photos and food ideas. OK, now I too am a Claire fan.
Thanks, Deb. Love these little bites. The endive has such a nice, crispness to them and the blue cheese mellows their bitterness. Claire is our little princess :D
These are pretty simple to make yet sound gourmet – a great way to impress holiday guests. Claire is adorable.
Thank you, CheeseSticks! :) I’ll pass the word to Claire Cat!
Medha @ Whisk & Shout
What a classy dish! I love sweet fruit and blue cheese together :)
Hi Medha! Thank you! Oh me too! I was thinking, as an alternative to pears, that grapes would be good here too.
once again, spectacular presentation ….. your photos compel one to prepare the dish immediately.
….. claire looks suspiciously like a cat i was petting on whidbey earlier this year
:D Thank you, Chuck!
Jess @ whatjessicabakednext
Looks delish, Traci! Lovely recipe!
Thank you, Jess!
Isadora @ She Likes Food
I love your Claire Cat!! She is such a beautiful cat and so adorable! I definately have a soft spot in my heart for cats :) I tried endive for the first time a few months ago and I absolutely loved it! I love crunchy things, so it is now one of my favorite vegetables. These pear and blue cheese stuffed endive sound amazing and look so pretty! A food bloggers conference sounds like so much fun! I gotta look out to see if they have any near me!
Awwhhh, me too Izzy! Cats will always capture my heart. Claire’s had me wrapped around her paw for almost 16 years now! She’s the sweetest.
Endive is so delightful… I’m looking forward to trying it with other fruits and perhaps a bit of maple syrup! IFBC 2015 is in Seattle next year again. It may be worth a trip for you! :)
Thalia @ butter and brioche
I love your presentation of this Traci! I have a feeling that these would also make delicious and healthy appetizers for the upcoming holiday event season!
Thanks so much, Thalia! This would be a well received appetizer, especially for holiday gatherings. It satisfies the crunch and creamy cravings! :D
This looks delicious! We have a beautiful pear orchard up the road I wish you could visit! They sell apples and pears on the honor system; it’s fun to go out there. Claire Cat looks beautiful, too!
Oh I’m envious! A pear orchard?! I would pick so many pears and create to my hearts content! They’re one of my favorite fruits. Claire sends you a her purrrs. :)
Lovely recipe, Traci! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Molly! Thank you for the opportunity and inspiration! :D
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
I’m looking for Thanksgiving ideas and this would be a lovely appetizer. Easy to do, can be made ahead and then just add the toasted walnuts right before serving. Thanks, Traci – really great photos as always – love your little friend.
Hi Geraldine! Thank you! :) This would be a nice addition to your Thanksgiving. Light enough not to fill you up before feasting!
This is too weird.. I just geeked out so hard when I found some endive at Trader Joe’s this weekend and made a salad of them last night. Dang! I wish I had some left over for this recipe.. sounds amazing! Elegant as always, Traci!
Haha! How funny! Next time I go to the store, I’ll geek out too, over endive! HA! I am so excited about it! I can just imagine making a dip to dip the leaves into. They’re so crisp.. like a chip without the guilt! Thank you, Cheryl!
That must have been so fun to attend a conference full of food bloggers! What a fantastic experience. I wish I lived closer so I could get in on this! I looooove endive. Bitter, crispy, and it’s kind of like it’s own serving vessel already! It would be so nice with the sweet pear and creamy blue cheese. Great appetizer recipe, Traci! This would be lovely with a glass of wine :)
Heeeeyy Allison! :D You nailed it! A glass of wine… hummmm red or white? What would you pair these pear endive with? hehe…. You would have loved IFBC! It’s in Seattle again next year, same time. Perhaps a trip is in order??
Wow, thank you for this offering, Traci. What a delightful recipe and beautiful presentation! It looks so crisp and tasty… an elegant, easy-to-make, nutrition-packed appetizer. Good stuff! Your photos are fantastic, and the way you’ve captured the thyme leaves makes my heart skip a beat, those sublime little wonders of nature. Now that cheese is out of my diet, I won’t be trying this as-is, but I bet it’ll still be delicious without. Veganized! Seeing your little assistant is such a sweet bonus. A lagniappe. Hi Claire! <3
Thank you, Jen! :D Delightful, yes and the lovely thyme makes this recipe SING! I’m hoarding it lately.. worried that it’s end is near with cooler temps approaching. I am putting it on everything, just about! Absolutely still delicious without blue cheese!