Califonia Bountiful

Endive leaves stuffed with roasted beets, caramelized walnuts and blue cheese

This appetizer shows off a variety of California-grown items: beets, walnuts, olive oil, blue cheese, lemon and, last but not least, endive.

Joan Leineke Catering Co., Sacramento

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6 small to medium-sized beets
1 cup walnut halves
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. salt
4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
5 to 6 whole endives
1/2 lemon
8 oz. creamy, full-flavored blue cheese
1 tbsp. chopped chives


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wrap each beet separately in foil and roast until easily pierced with a fork, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Peel and dice into small pieces.

Rub walnuts briefly in a dishtowel to remove any skins. In a skillet over medium heat, combine walnut halves, sugar, salt and  oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar coats nuts and caramelizes, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer walnuts to a parchment-lined plate or baking sheet, keeping pieces separate to keep from sticking together.

Trim and separate endive leaves. Rub cut ends with lemon to prevent discoloration. Spoon a small amount of cheese onto the cut end of each leaf. Top cheese with a small portion of beets. Garnish with walnuts and chives.

Makes about 48 pieces

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