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Fun winter finger food. November 26, 2010

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes, wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , , ,

Silence Dogood here. Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any big dinner presents the cook with the same problem: How do you give your ravenous guests something to fend off starvation until the meal is on the table without giving them a chance to overeat and be unable to appreciate the food you’ve probably spent days preparing? Appetizers seem like the ideal solution, but not just any appetizer will do. Cheese and crackers, rich dips, bruschetta, tapenade or baked brie on sliced baguette, hummus and pita, even salsa and chips—it’s all too easy for a hungry guest to inadvertently overindulge.

This Thanksgiving, I finally hit on the perfect solution. It’s everything an appetizer should be: light but satisfying, crunchy but creamy, healthy but decadent, easy to eat with your fingers, always at the right temperature. It’s stuffed endive, and trust me, it’s so delicious it’s a good thing you can serve plates and limit the portions!

To make these delicious endive “boats,” you’ll need to buy Belgian endive (those tight, pale green heads in the salad section with boatlike leaves), crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled feta cheese, dried cranberries, and nuts. (I had pecans on hand, but you could use walnuts or even smoked almonds if you prefer them.) That’s all there is to it!

To put the boats together, place four large or six smaller leaves on each salad plate. Add a little crumbled Gorgonzola in the bottom of each leaf “boat” (this adds delicious bite, but you don’t want to overdo it or it will overwhelm the other flavors). Fill the leaves almost to the top with crumbled feta. Now, press in 4-6 dried cranberries in each “boat” (again, you want to add color and flavor, but not to overwhelm the other flavors with sweetness; ultimately, this is a savory appetizer). Sprinkle chopped nuts over the top of each filled leaf, and top it with lemon pepper or fresh-ground pepper.

Give each guest a filled plate, a napkin, and a glass of dry Reisling, Traminette, or Pinot Grigio, and scoot back into the kitchen to finish cooking in peace. Your guests will think you’re the grestest host or hostess who ever lived—and they’ll still have room for your wonderful meal.

           ‘Til next time,




1. Joy - November 27, 2010

Silence .. I SO want to be a dinner guest at your home : ) this sounds delicious !!
Joy : )

Thanks, Joy! I hope you all can get down here, or that we can finally come up with the money for our long-anticipated train ride across Canada. If we manage it, I promise we’ll stop by and I’ll make dinner for you all!

2. P Chef - December 2, 2010

I like the endive finger boat idea, but for taste, I might like a less ornamental version. Would a singed, or burnt, endive finger boat be “scroogy?” I can’t help thinking of it as a sadder, more forelorn holiday decoration and wouldn’t mention it but for the taste of caramelized endive.

I just watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, with Rudolph, Herbie & Yukon Cornelius sailing the frozen seas. I don’t want to think of poor Santa, navigating the icebergs of the North Pole in a charred endive canoe. He deserves better. And what if he wanted to take Mrs. Claus out for a tension breaking, sanity-check? We can’t let her get into a flame scarred vegatative vessel. Can we?

Taste versus imagination! It will require a decision on which way to go. Thanks for the fun idea.

Hi P Chef! I just got more endive today for the endive-boat-addicted our friend Ben, so I’ll definitely try charring—I mean, caramelizing—a few “boats.” That sounds delicious! Thanks for a great idea!

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