I have a confession to make, but I am afraid it might mean that my foodie status will be revoked. Still, I feel the need to unload my burden and share with you. Come closer so I can whisper, I don’t want the foodie police to hear me. Up until about a week ago, I had never eaten endives. Yes, it’s true. I write a food blog and yet until recently, I’d never tasted this delicious, healthy and increasingly popular vegetable. Oh, the shame of it! Fortunately, I can now proudly state that I HAVE eaten endive. And not only that, but I have prepared it at home in several different ways. Because I, lucky girl that I am, received a large shipment of California endive to play with. I am officially an OnDiva.
What the heck is an OnDiva, you ask? Well, along with several other amazing food bloggers, I was asked to be part of a Discover Endive campaign to spread the word about this versatile vegetable. This one was a no-brainer, my friends. Vegetables are a large part of my low carb diet and getting the chance to discover a new one and develop some recipes in which to feature it is always an exciting challenge. And endive is a perfect addition to my repertoire, as it’s low in carbohydrates and contains a great deal of fiber and nutrients. In fact, it was recently featured on the Dr. Oz Show as the number one vegetable that can help reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
For my first endive recipe, I wanted to make a simple but delicious appetizer. I love appetizers and often prefer to make a meal out of small bite-sized things than a big sit-down dinner. And endive leaves, with their curled edges and firm stems, make perfect appetizer-delivery systems. One of my absolute favourite appetizers is my husband’s homemade boursin cheese. It’s a recipe I’ve been thinking of sharing the recipe with my readers for a long time, because it is so amazing. Among our friends and family, it is a highly sought-after treat and we’ve even given it away as Christmas gifts. Typically, it’s eaten on crackers or bread, but endive leaves make the perfect low carb alternative. Smoked salmon is another of my favourite appetizers and I’ve paired it with boursin in the past. Putting the two together on endive leaves just seemed like a natural evolution.
The nice thing about this is that it can be put together as much as 12 hours in advance. As long as it’s kept in the fridge, the endive leaves stay crisp and firm with the boursin and salmon. Alternatively, you could simply lay out the endive leaves along with a bowl of boursin and a platter of smoked salmon, and let your guests doctor their own. One small tip is simply to get the boursin out well ahead of time, so it is soft enough to scoop up easily with the endive. I will say, we like to really do up the garlic in our boursin, so much so that you have to stand several feet away from everyone else lest you kill them with your breath. But I understand that not everyone wants to be overpowered by that pungent vegetable, so you can adjust the garlic to your liking.
And if you are not a smoked salmon fan, I can also highly recommend this with thinly sliced roast beef.
Endive with Boursin and Smoked Salmon
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp olive oil
3 to 5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 tbsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
dash hot sauce
4 to 5 heads California endive
8 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
In a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese, butter and olive oil. Add garlic, dried parsley, salt, pepper and hot sauce and stir until thoroughly combined. (As long as your cream cheese and butter are soft enough, you can simply do this with a fork).
Trim the base of the endive and remove outer leaves (there is no need to wash the endive, as it is grown and harvested in sanitary conditions). Pull inner leaves apart. Spread the base of each leaf with one or two teaspoons of boursin and top with smoked salmon.
Arrange endive leaves on a platter, garnish with fresh parsley or dill, and serve.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Discover Endive. All opinions expressed are mine.