This Pear, Walnut, and Endive Appetizer is perfect for holiday parties! Think of this endive recipe as cute little handheld salad bites that you can customize to your liking. You’ll love that these endive cups look elegant, yet are super simple to prepare.
Creating This Stuffed Endive Appetizer
This is the first year in a long time that I won’t host Thanksgiving at my house. A few years back we did have Thanksgiving at my Dad’s, but I was still the host in terms of the person in charge of the menu planning and all the cooking.
I didn’t mind. I actually like preparing Thanksgiving dinner.
With that said, after a pretty busy year it will be a nice change of pace to be a guest somewhere else. And it is the perfect opportunity to try out some new appetizers as my contribution to the big meal.
With all of the focus on the big deal meals of Thanksgiving and Christmas and all of the fun holiday baking, appetizer recipes are something that usually end up forgotten for me.
Appetizers usually have to be a conscious decision for me.
Mental note: You need to experiment with some new Holiday Appetizers. Or something like that.
I tested out these simple endive appetizer bites. I think they’re a new family favorite!
What Is Endive?
Endive is a type of leafy green that comes from part of the chicory family. When enjoyed raw, fresh endive is very crisp and has a slightly bitter flavor.
They have smaller leaves that make perfect little endive boats that you can fill with a variety of ingredients to make simple appetizers.
How to Eat Endive
- Endive can be eaten like regular lettuce, or it can be roasted, grilled, or braised.
- In this endive appetizer recipe the endive leaves are separated from the head and are not cooked.
What Does Endive Taste Like?
Raw endive has a mildly bitter flavor that pairs well with sweet flavors, like the apple and pear used in this particular recipe. Once cooked, endive’s bitterness mellows out and it tastes nuttier.
Ingredients for the Endive Appetizer Bites
Think of this simple holiday season appetizer as a little handheld endive blue cheese salad – there are 3 components: honey walnuts, a simple vinaigrette, and the endive fruit filling.
For this stuffed endive recipe, you’ll need just the following ingredients:
- Dijon Mustard
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Lemon Juice
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Belgian Endive Leaves
- D’Anjou Pear
- Honey Crisp Apple
- Pomegranate Arils
- Fresh Parsley
- Blue Cheese
For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions to make this endive recipe, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.
How to Make Endive Appetizer Bites
I think they’re perfect for this time of year with the delicious seasonal flavors of pear and cranberry. And you can assemble them literally minutes before serving them!
- First, you’ll combine walnuts with honey and bake them.
- While the walnuts cook, make a simple vinaigrette dressing.
- Then, chop the fruit and combine it with some of the pomegranate and chopped parsley.
- After that, assemble the appetizer by arranging the endive leaves on a platter and spooning the fruit mixture on top of the leaves. Then, drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the walnuts and blue cheese.
The above is simply a quick summary of this endive appetizer recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.
Tips for Making Stuffed Endive Bites
- Purchase pears that are ripe, but slightly firm still so they don’t get mushy when you combine the fruit mixture together.
- Endive can be washed and dried ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to a day.
- You can also convert this to a salad on a platter just as easily by assembling the ingredients like you would any salad and serving the dressing on the side for guests to add to their plate.
- If you want to get “fancy,” you can use candied walnuts instead of tossing the walnuts with honey. It will be tasty either way.
- I love using this simple vinaigrette on these endive blue cheese salad bites, but you can make another salad dressing if preferred or try a storebought.
Endive Appetizer FAQs
Got questions about how to make this endive recipe? Here are the answers to a few commonly asked questions. Feel free to leave any other questions in the comments on this post and I’ll respond with answers.
Can endive be substituted?
For this particular recipe, the best endive substitute that I can recommend is radicchio. Radicchio is more bitter than endive, but it’s also very crisp and will deliver a similar texture.
How should I was the endive?
Remove the outer two to three leaves, then cut off the very bottom of the endive. From there, you should be able to separate the leaves easily.
Be sure to rinse the endive leaves until running tap water to remove any dirt. Gently pat the leaves dry so you don’t break them.
Can I use different fruit?
You can use all apples or all pears if you only have one or the other. I don’t recommend substituting canned pears as they are more mushy and much sweeter due to added sugar.
Can I Use Something Besides Blue Cheese?
A softer cheese is best for this recipe, in my opinion. If you don’t like blue cheese, I would suggest trying goat cheese in place, or simply leave the cheese off.
What can I substitute for pomegranate arils?
If you need a substitute for pomegranate seeds, you can try using dried cranberries instead; they will also provide a nice pop of flavor and color. Or, simply leave the pomegranate off.
Can I assemble this easy appetizer ahead of time?
I don’t recommend it. The apple and pear can brown if cut too early. If the endive appetizer is fully assembled too far in advance, the endive may wilt due to the dressing.
Make Ahead Tips
- Prep the endive leaves ahead of time by washing and drying them early. Then, store the endive in the refrigerator in a resealable plastic bag with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.
- Make the honey almonds in earlier in the day and store in an airtight container once they’ve cooled.
- Prepare the vinaigrette up to 24 hours in advance and store in the fridge. Bring to room temp and re-whisk before serving.
If you make some of the individual components in advance, these endive cups just require you to chop the fruit followed by a quick assembly right before serving.
How should store leftovers?
If you have leftovers of this endive appetizer, you should store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or wrap the serving platter in plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.
When to Serve this Endive Appetizer
The great thing about this endive recipe is that it looks unique and impressive, but it is so easy to prepare! These little bites make a wonderful appetizer for:
Try this Endive Appetizer!
Krista says –
“I made this tonight and LOVED it. It was beautiful and delicious….everything you’d want in an appetizer or salad course.”
Next time you’re looking for an elegant appetizer that is easy to prepare, give these endive salad bites a try!
Did you think combination of pungent blue cheese with juicy fruit and endive lettuce was delicious? Leave a comment below and give it a review for others to see what you thought of this easy appetizer recipe.
On Instagram? Share your photo and tag me @goodlifeeats #goodlifeeatsrecipes. I’d love to see your photo of this elegant dish!
More Easy Holiday Appetizers:
These small bites and dips are perfect for any Holiday appetizer spread and will go perfectly served alongside this recipe for Endive, Pear, and Walnut Appetizer.
Store-bought stuffing cubes are transformed into an easy but impressive appetizer in this Spinach Stuffing Balls recipe! Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
This simple White Bean Bruschetta is a quick make-ahead appetizer to help simplify holiday entertaining and potlucks.
Spiced Pear and Pomegranate Crostini look far more special than a plate of fruit and cheese, but they’re really a cinch to prepare and they don’t require any special serving utensils.
This easy recipe for Garlic, Thyme, and Rosemary Marinated Olives is perfect for simple entertaining! They make a great easy appetizer idea for any party.
Serve this Marinated Feta Appetizer with crackers or crusty bread. In this recipe, feta cheese is marinated in olive oil, fresh herbs, garlic, lemon, and sun dried tomatoes for a delicious and simple appetizer.
In this Greek Puff Pastry Appetizer, puff pastry shells are baked and filled with a mixture of kalamata olives, red bell pepper, fresh oregano, feta, and spinach with a warm lemony olive oil vinaigrette.
Get More Recipes via Email
Did you love this stuffed endive recipe? Sign up to receive Good Life Eats Email Updates and never miss another recipe!
- 1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijion Mustard
- 1 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
- 6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons finely minced Shallot
- 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt, plus extra to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper, plus extra to taste
- 24 Belgian Endive Leaves - a mix of Yellow and Red
- 1 D'Anjou Pear, diced
- 1 Honey Crisp Apple, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh Pomegranate Arils, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped Fresh Parsley
- 1 1/2 ounces crumbled Blue Cheese
Making the Honey Walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the chopped walnuts and honey. Stir until walnuts are fully coated.
- Transfer the walnuts to the prepared baking sheet, spreading out so they aren't crowded. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven, placing on the middle rack.
- Bake the walnuts at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes. Stir and bake an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Making the Dressing
- Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Combine the honey, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil in a glass measuring cup or small bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add the shallot, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside.
Assembling the Endive Appetizer
- Carefully separate the individual leaves from each head of endive. Gently rinse and dry the leaves.
- While the leaves are drying, dice the pear and apple - leaving the peel on for color.
- Transfer to a bowl and gently stir to combine. Add half of the pomegranate arils and fresh parsley to the diced fruit, gently tossing to combine (be careful not to burst the pomegranate arils or mush the ripe pear).
- Arrange the endive leaves on a serving platter.
- Scoop the pear and apple mixture on the individual leaves (the leaves should act like spoons almost, making these easy to serve because they can be eaten without utensils if needed.
- Sprinkle the remaining pomegranate arils on top of the pear and apple mixture, dividing between all of the leaves.
- Drizzle with the vinaigrette, then sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles and the chopped walnuts.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 2 assembled appetizers
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 158Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 91mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 3g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy. This provided information is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.