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Endive leaves with roasted beet puree

Endive Leaves with Roasted Beet Puree,
Toasted Walnuts and Blue Cheese

For pairing with our newly released
2003 "ROUGE DE NOIRS" SPARKLING PINOT

6 medium red beets, trimmed of leaves and dirt
olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup walnut oil
1 tbsp. shallots
36 endive leaves, trimmed as necessary
6 oz. blue cheese (try Gorgonzola or Spanish Cabrales)
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Place beets on a large piece of foil. Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil over them and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Wrap them up in the foil, sealing them well. Place the package on a sheet pan and place in a pre-heated 400 degree F oven. Roast the beets approximately 45 minutes to an hour or until tender in the middle. When fully roasted, allow beets to cool and then remove their skins. Place the beets into a blender pitcher with the vinegar, brown sugar, walnut oil and shallots. Process until you have a very thick puree. Add salt and pepper to taste; remove to a small bowl.*

Place a tiny spoonful of the beet puree on each endive leaf. Then place a few crumbles of the blue cheese on each endive leaf, followed by a few small pieces of walnut. Arrange the endive leaves onto a decorative platter and serve. Makes 36 appetizers, enough for 12 guests to have 3 each.

*This puree keeps very well in the fridge. Store it in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

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