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.
- 4 medium-sized red beets, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chives, chopped finely
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 large Belgian endives, trimmed and leaves pulled from core (about 24 large leaves)
- 12 ounces fresh ricotta cheese
- Chives, for garnish
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.