Whether for an afternoon tea, engagement party or any other festive occasion, these endive spears filled with garlicky herbed goat cheese, salted cucumbers and peppery radish go over very well. For the host(ess) and/or chef, they are an especially nice addition to the menu. Not only are they nice and simple to prepare (assembly line-style with two to three people is ideal), but they’re also fairly inexpensive (only about four dollars per dozen) and made with easily located ingredients year-round (everything you need is at Trader Joe’s). Please note that the recipe yields about six dozen pieces, so you may want to scale down the ingredients for a more manageable quantity.
Endive Spears with Herbed Goat Cheese, Cucumber and Radish
Preparation Time: 1 – 1 1/2 hours
Makes: About 6 dozen
- 1 pound Persian cucumbers
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 6 ounces (from about 1 bunch) radish
- 9 whole Belgian endive (any color)
- 1 recipe herbed goat cheese
Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise; using a small spoon (1/4 teaspoon is a nice size), scrape out seeds and cut into about 1/2″ cubes. Toss cucumbers with Kosher salt in a small mixing bowl, set aside for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, rinse with plenty of water, drain and dry very well; set aside.
Slice radish into 1/16″ thick rounds using a mandolin (or knife — props!); set aside.
Trim endive root end as needed to remove spears cleanly. Wash and dry thoroughly; set aside.
Fit a pastry bag with coupler and desired tip — I like Wilton 21. Fill bag with about about 1/3 of the herbed goat cheese mixture; gently knead bag to warm cheese slightly. (Refill bag as needed.)
(See photos below for additional clarification.) Pipe goat cheese onto spears, covering about half of the surface — hold bag very close and perpendicular to surface, quickly move it back in forth in a tight zig-zag. Arrange on serving platter(s). Top each with a slice or two of radish and several pieces of cucumber — use your judgment on topping quantity based on spear size.
Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, for several hours before serving.