Endive leaves are the perfect delivery device for mouthfuls of sweet roasted figs, crunchy candied pecans, and pungent, salty blue cheese. Easy, too!
Game plan: The pecans can be prepared a day ahead and stored in an airtight container.
This recipe was featured as part of our Killer Apps menu.
- Yields: 24 hors d’oeuvres
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 30 mins
- Active: 20 mins
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 24 pecan halves
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 6 fresh figs
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 heads Belgian endive
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat until foaming. Add pecans, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Cook, stirring often, until sugars dissolve and mixture bubbles. Turn mixture onto a piece of aluminum foil or waxed paper, set in a dry place, and let cool.
- Quarter figs lengthwise, toss in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven until just soft, about 10 minutes.
- Trim off the bottoms of the endive and separate the heads into leaves. Choose the best 24 leaves (do not use the hearts). Place 1 fig quarter and 1 teaspoon of the blue cheese on each leaf. Top with a pecan and serve.
Beverage pairing: Hartley & Gibson’s Amontillado, Spain. This simple, off-dry amontillado sherry complements every part of the dish (except the endive) without overly asserting itself. It has to have enough sweetness to handle the maple syrup and the nuttiness to work with the cheese and pecans. Serve it slightly chilled.