Endive Appetizers With Ricotta and Gems (10 Minutes)

These endive appetizers are super light and easy to make. They are filled with creamy ricotta and topped with beautiful contrasting colors, textures and flavors of nuts, veggies, currants and honey. Pretty and delicious.

The variations are endless and just 10 minutes to assemble. Great for potluck.

endive appetizers on plate 1

My friend Faygie recently served a version of these at a dinner party. She made two endive hors d’oeuvres per person and I secretly hoped someone wouldn’t eat theirs so I could have an extra.

What to expect

Belgian endive leaves have almost no taste, so they are a perfect vehicle for any toppings. They do, however, have an amazing crunch which contrasts nicely with the creamy smooth ricotta. When you add a blend of sweet and savory flavors, you get a perfect little bite. Well, two.

In 10 minutes, you have a simple little low-calorie, multi-textured appetizer or healthy snack.

I’ve made a few suggestions for variations below, but don’t let that limit you. Check around in your pantry and fridge for what you have. The endive and ricotta provide an ideal platform for big bold flavors, sweet-tangy ones and many others.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

endives, chopped nuts, chopped pepper, currants, green onions chopped, ricotta, honey.

The endive appetizers are made by smearing ricotta on endive leaves and then topping them with a mixture of nuts, currents, chives, red peppers, and honey.

Variations and substitutes

  • Drizzle on a balsamic reduction
  • Use any roasted nuts or seeds e.g. pepitas, pine nuts, crushed hazelnuts, etc.
  • Instead of currants, use golden raisins, sultanas or dried cranberries
  • Use green onions or thin slices of red onion instead of chives
  • Try adding some heat with sriracha or a pinch of red pepper or chili flakes
  • Add a small squeeze of fresh orange juice and orange zest
  • If you can’t find endives, try butter lettuce cups (use two layers), other sturdy leafy greens or skip the endives and serve the topping on toasted crusty fresh bread or baguette.

Step-by-step instructions

endive leaves with ricotta filler on white plate.
Arrange endives leaves on a large plate or platter. Spread a dollop of fresh ricotta on the bottom third of each endive leaf. 
topping for endive appetizers with nuts, veggies, currants.
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the topping mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings.
3 endive appetizers with ricotta, nuts, peppers and cranberries on cutting board
 Add a bit of mixture on top of ricotta cheese on each endive boat.
endive appetizers on plate 1

Alternative Topping Combinations

  1. Finely diced citrus fruits over goat cheese, drizzled with vinaigrette, honey or maple syrup. Toss in pomegranate seeds or fresh mint for added flavor and color.
  2. Goat cheese or ricotta topped with olive tapenade and sprinkled with chives or other fresh herbs
  3. Finely diced tomatoes and olives, sprinkled with lemon zest
  4. Diced roasted peppers, sprinkled with chives and Parmesan cheese or blue cheese
  5. Roasted corn and peppers with a drizzle of lime, salt and honey
  6. Chopped shrimp salad with dill

Endive Tips

Try to find endive heads that are firm and tightly packed with crisp leaves. This is a good sign they are fresh. 

Keep in mind that the outer leaves have more bitter tastes, while the inner leaves (closer to the heart) have a milder flavor.

Trim the base of the endive leaves to help remove any bitterness.

Make Ahead

These apps keep in the fridge for several hours. Or make the topping mixture ahead and prepare the endive leaves, then assemble before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

endive appetizers with ricotta, nuts, peppers and cranberries on black plate.

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5 from 8 votes

Endive Appetizers With Ricotta and Gems

These endive appetizers are super light and easy to make. They are filled with creamy ricotta and topped with beautiful contrasting colors, textures and flavors of nuts, veggies, currants and honey.
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 appetizers

Ingredients

  • 2 endives
  • 3/4 cup smooth ricotta cheese, approximately

Topping mixture, Note 1 & 2

  • 1/4 cup dried currants (or dried cranberries or raisins)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped roasted almonds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon minced red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives or green onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (or to taste) – or drizzle of balsamic reduction
  • pinch kosher salt and black pepper
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp sriracha for heat

Instructions

  • PREPARE ENDIVES: Cut off ends and separate the leaves. Arrange 8-10 of the larger ones on a platter. Spread a dollop of ricotta on the bottom third of each endive leaf (just less than a tablespoon or as you like).
  • MAKE TOPPING MIXTURE: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for topping mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • FINISH APPS: Place about 1/2-3/4 tablespoon of mixture on top of ricotta on each endive leaf. If desired, drizzle balsamic reduction all over just before serving or sprinkle with additional chives or chopped parsley.

Recipe Notes

  1. Variations/Substitutes:
    • Drizzle on a balsamic reduction
    • Use any roasted nuts or seeds e.g. pepitas, pine nuts, crushed hazelnuts, etc.
    • Instead of currants, use golden raisins or dried cranberries
    • Use green onions instead of chives or finely diced red onion.
    • Try adding some heat with sriracha or red pepper flakes
    • Sprinkle with orange zest
    • If you can’t find endives, you can use lettuce cups, toasted bread or crackers.
  2. Alternative topping combinations:
    • Finely diced citrus fruits and goat cheese, drizzled with vinaigrette or honey. Toss in fresh mint if you like or pomegranate seeds.
    • Goat cheese or ricotta topped with olive Tepanade and sprinkled with chives
    • Finely diced tomatoes and olives, sprinkled with lemon zest
    • Diced roasted peppers, sprinkled with chives and Parmesan
    • Roasted corn and peppers with a drizzle of lime, salt and honey
    • Chopped shrimp salad with dill
3. Make Ahead: Appetizers will keep for several hours in the fridge. Or make the mixture ahead, prepare the endive leaves and assemble just before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Β 
Nutrition values are estimates.

Nutrition

Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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Adapted from myrecipes.

5 from 8 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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