Sometimes, in the long, hot summer, you just want to throw together a quick appetizer.
I love Belgian endive for its usefulness as a “delivery device”; you can put all sorts of yummy things in it, and it’s a finger food.
Belgian endive is great when filled with:
herbed goat cheese
- blue cheese, dried fruit and honey
- spicy pimento cheese and green onions
- ham spread and pickles
- chopped chicken and Pico de Gallo
- bacon and shredded smoked gouda
- smoked salmon, capers, chopped red onion and sour cream
- many, many more – the possibilities are endless
This evening my son arrived home from University of North Texas Jazz Camp and I wanted to make a special appetizer to welcome him back. It took just a few minutes to throw this appetizer together. The recipe below serves 3, but you can double, triple or quadruple as appropriate.
Belgian Endive & Brie with Grapes
- 1 head of Belgian endive
- Brie (only a small amount, perhaps a remnant from another night)
- About a tablespoon of chopped nuts (I used toasted pecans, but don’t be constrained by that – cashews, pistachios, even honey-roasted peanuts would be good)
- 1/8 cup of your favorite jam or jelly (kick it up with a spicy one, if you like)
- Basil or other herb for garnish, roughly chopped
- Red grapes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Wash the endive and cut the end off, then separate the leaves. You may need to cut the end off again after removing the first few leaves. Cut small pieces of Brie so that you end up with the same number of Brie pieces as you have endive leaves. Put a very small dollop of jam in the base of each endive leave, then a piece of Brie, then another drop of the jam (for color). Arrange on a plate with small bunches of grapes. Garnish with chopped nuts and herbs, then add salt and pepper to taste.
I really love to use flavorful jams and jellies in my cooking. We have a marvelous farmer’s market in our town (see Tomball Farmer’s Market), and one of the vendors every week is Just Pure Flavors. They are always making up a batch of something new and wonderful, which leads me to make up different recipes to use all of my jam and jelly impulse buys. It’s a symbiotic relationship.
Copyright 2015, Glover Gardens Cookbook