On the aforementioned topic of no-cook, room temperature appetizers, here's another one for you that is equally beautiful for holiday entertaining (I love the deep hue of the beets and the naturally ombre endive leaves, and of course the pretty green dill). The combination of earthy, roasted beets, salty gorgonzola, and pistachios, along with citrusy dressing, is a no-brainer. It's a spin off of so many beet salads this time of year; it just comes in the form of a light two-bite appetizer, using bitter endive leaves as the vessel. All of the components can be made/prepped in advance and thrown together at serving time (I don't need to tell you how clutch that is in the season of entertaining).
Endive with marinated beets, gorgonzola, and pistachios
Yields about 16 boats
1½ T lemon juice
1 T olive oil
½ T honey
½ T champagne vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 T chopped dill, divided
3 roasted beets, finely diced
2 heads baby endive, stem chopped off, and leaves separated (tiny inside leaves discarded)
About ¼ cup gorgonzola
About ¼ cup shelled pistachios, chopped
A couple of hours before serving, make the dressing by combining lemon juice, olive oil, honey, and champagne vinegar in a mason jar or small bowl, and shake or stir until emulsified. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste. Toss diced beets in dressing, as well as half the chopped dill, and cover and store in fridge for a couple of hours until just before you’re ready to serve (If you don’t have time for that step - don’t worry about it; you can move right along to the next step without letting the beets marinate in the fridge). At that point, taste beets for seasoning (add more salt if necessary). Slice a bit off of each endive stem, and then carefully remove the leaves. Discard the very outside layer, as well as small inner leaves, if you’d like. Fill each endive boat with a spoonful of the beet mixture, followed by a bit of the leftover juice if you’d like. Then sprinkle each with a little bit of gorgonzola and chopped pistachios. Finish with the remaining chopped dill. Arrange on a platter or board and serve.
PS: Other great no-bake appetizers: A restaurant caliber charcuterie board, Goat cheese stuffed dates with Serrano ham and basil, Smoked salmon spread with lemon and dill, and Crudites with green goddess dip