This is one of those stuffed endive appetizers that you tend to remember months after eating them. The Endive Boats with goat Cheese and Onion Jam have these slow caramelized onions, tangy goat cheese, candied pecans, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for full on sensory overload.
The flavor profiles
It hits every taste bud, and you get so many textures all at once: creamy cheese, crunchy endives, sweet onions and sweet pecans. It works.
I developed this dish for a private client dinner last Valentine’s day. The party was a room full of doctors and this was the opening dish.
And then there were none.
Balsamic Glaze is this reduction of balsamic vinegar helped by some sugar to thicken it. You can do this glaze by just reducing a cup of balsamic vinegar and a half a cup of sugar until the glaze coats the back of a spoon. This is called napper- french culinary term that we were told so often as students when learning how to make sauces.
It keeps very well in the oven and its a fantastic component for other dishes, salads, etc. that need a burst of sweetness and acidity.
These little nuggets of crunchy, nutty, texture are great for salads, and their fatty flavor work well when paired with fresher ingredients like endives.
The easy way of doing candied pecans, is coating them with a caramel and roasting that in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. The heat crystallizes around the pecans and candies them. Just let them cool, and they stay good in the fridge for a week.
This is just sexy. The onion jam carries so much depth of flavor from the red wine and herbs, usually thyme or rosemary, that it’s worth every second it takes to prepare. I’ll make a blog post about this onion jam in the coming weeks. Suffice it to say that it goes well on everything.
The trick is to slow cook the onions in butter until they are caramelized, then add the red wine, herbs and sugar, and reduce it until the liquid coats the back of a spoon. This sets the onion jam as it cools. An optional last step is pureeing it in a food processor. It makes sure the texture is even and smooth to spread or garnish.
You can do anything with these endive boats. Goat cheese can be substituted with blue cheese, or gorgonzola. Either one of those strong, tangy cheeses works well with sweet ingredients like the onion jam.
For a savory addition, you can make endive boats with smoked salmon, which in this case since it’s already creamy, the salmon replaces the cheese.
This Endive Boats with goat Cheese and Onion Jam recipe is perfect for entertaining. Its a restaurant quality dish that will impress your guests every single time.
1 endive, cut into leaves
2 oz Goat Cheese– pulled into small lumps
2 oz Onion jam
1/2 oz Balsamic Glaze
2 oz Candied Pecans or walnuts
olive oil for drizzle
Mount the goat cheese, pecans, and onion jam inside the endive boat. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and olive oil.
Keywords: Endive Feathers, Endive boats, onion jam, caramelized onion jam