Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Endive with Goat Cheese Citrus and Walnuts

This elegant appetizer is both rich and light at the same time. It's also a show stopper while still being easy enough to make ahead. Just remember to wait until the last minute to drizzle on the balsamic reduction. 

Endive with Goat Cheese, Citrus and Walnuts
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons honey, divided
cooking spray
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
16-20 endive leaves (about 5-8 heads depending on their size)
Goat cheese 
16-20 orange sections (about 2 large oranges. Blood or Cara Cara varieties add nice color)
1 Tablespoon or so fresh chives, snipped or minced
fresh black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Toss walnuts with 1 tablespoon honey. Spread on a baking sheet coated liberally with olive oil and bake for about 10 minutes. Check and stir after 5 minutes as they can burn quickly. 

Combine honey, vinegar and orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and stir until reduced to about 3 tablespoons. 

Top each endive leaf with an orange section, about a teaspoon of crumbled goat cheese (or bleu cheese) and a teaspoon or so of candied walnuts. Arrange on a plate and then drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with chives and freshly cracked pepper before serving.