Serving light hors d’oeuvres that won’t spoil your guests’ appetites before they sit down for dinner should always be a priority. These endive boats fit the bill. They’re as colorful as they are delicious — not to mention festive and light as a cloud! No wonder these cheerful boats have become a fixture at my fall and winter dinner parties.
Go the extra mile and make these scrumptious hors d’oeuvres with homemade ricotta and I bet your guests will be asking for seconds.
*Note: The beets can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
**Note: The boats can be assembled up to 30 minutes ahead and kept at room temperature. Do not prepare too far ahead of time as the endives will wilt.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place the beets in a small roasting pan.* Fill the pan with ½-inch of water. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 60-70 minutes, until the beets are tender. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, chives, salt, and pepper until well blended. Set aside. Peel the beets by slipping the skins off with the back of a knife. Cut the beets into 1/8-inch cubes. Add the dressing, toss well, and let stand at room temperature for 15-30 minutes.
Just before serving, place a spoonful of the ricotta in the bottom half of each endive leaf.** Top with the beet cubes. Garnish with a chive tip and serve.