Open Door

Belgian Endive Pear Boats

Endive Pear Boats

So far so good with the weather – Mother Nature is cooperating with the plan to end winter and signs of spring are everywhere.  A few of the Farmer’s Markets will be opening this weekend, with the BIG one for the area following next weekend!  I have a rather long list of vegetables that I want to try this year, including radishes (poor JT) and about five different types of greens.  Thanks for the /52weeksofcooking challenge I’ve already knocked one “green” of the list with this modified Belgian Salad.  When I tried to find a cuisine for the Belgian challenge I wasn’t that shocked to see all the not-so-vegetarian friendly food.  While Belgian Waffles were rather tempting (with Trader Joe’s cookie butter!!!), I’ve done waffles before and while I know that you don’t have to use a deep waffle iron for Belgian Waffles it just feels wrong to think about using a standard waffle iron – let alone using one!  So I decided to tackle the vegetable that kept popping up in so many dishes: endives.  I think I might have had an endive salad many moons ago at a wedding on the Cape but outside of a vague memory I couldn’t recall the taste.  However Pinterest was more than able to serve up a number of endive recipes, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to do one of the many cute boat designs that I saw.

Endive Pear Boats

Serves: Yields 8 Boats

Serves 4-8, as an appetizer or side


2 small heads Belgian Endive, well washed

2 Anjou Pears, cubed

1 leek, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp white vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

salt and pepper - to taste

1/4 cup Blue Cheese, crumbled (optional)


  1. Remove the four largest outer leaves from the endives and place on a large plate, open side up. Set Aside
  2. Shred the remaining endive and place in a large bowl along with the pear and leek.
  3. In a small bowl (or dressing mixer) combine the olive oil, vinegar, and garlic. Beat (or shake) until fully mixed, then pour over the shredded endive mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Carefully stuff around 2 tbsp of the endive mixture into the prepare endive boats. Top with Blue Cheese Crumbles (optional) and Serve!

In order to not kill my husband I dropped the nuts from the recipes I saw but those could easily be added back in for an extra crunch.  The tart endive was a great contrast to the sweetness of the pears, with the balsamic vinaigrette bringing it all together.   This would make a fantastic appetizer, especially since they act as their own plate!  I plan on trying this again in late summer, using some apples in place of the pears…or maybe in addition to.