endive and walnut blue cheese dip

Given that it’s Friday at 11 p.m., I suspect we both have better places to be than sitting cross-legged, staring down a laptop. But a deal is a deal, which means I owe you another dip before the day is done.

Belgian endive—those slender pale lettuce greens that cost $5.99 per pound and vaguely resemble artillery shells—wind up on the menus of fancy restaurants for a reason. They are the perfect vehicles for conveying savory starters. Their very appearance alludes to haute cooking and expensive cocktail parties. Not that this should preclude you from eating them in your bathrobe at the kitchen table.

A friend who is a local chef recommended this recipe—her own concoction. The flavors are earthy and pungent, melding walnuts and blue cheese, an antidote to all the sugar cookies and candy canes of the quickly fading holiday season, but equally addictive.

I do not have precise measurements; don’t let that slow you down. The result is a high-falutin’ finger food with a pleasing, delicate crunch.

endive

Walnut Blue Cheese Dip with Endive

Recipe courtesy of Sandra Lee

walnuts

walnut oil

blue cheese dressing (homemade or good stuff from the store)

endive

salt

Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat on a stovetop, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Put them in a food processor and pulse until they are roughly the size of kosher salt. In a bowl mix the walnuts with equal parts blue cheese dressing and a drizzle of walnut oil. Salt to taste. Use it as a dip for endive leaves.

For a good homemade blue cheese dressing, I refer you to a recipe by David Lebovitz. In a pinch, I’ve found that mashing blue cheese with a bit of whole yogurt, milk, and a splash of red wine vinegar also works.

endive tips