Ever use Endive for snacking or appetizers? The leaves make a great container and scooper. Endive with herbed cream cheese is reminiscent of classic Green Goddess dressing with lots of fresh herbs. They make an easy, light appetizer for entertaining and celebrations accompanied by a glass of Champagne, sparkling wine, or sparkling mineral water.
When I’m catering parties and my clients want a crudites platter, I pair it with my version of Green Goddess dip. This time, I’ve made it a bit thicker, using cream cheese as the base. The flavors burst with the bright flavors of fresh herbs and lemon.
Packed with fresh tarragon, parsley, dill, chives, and a little lemon, pipe the filling into the leaves for an elegant presentation. If you can find chervil, that’s good too. For easier, more casual presentation, spoon it into a bowl to use as a dip for the leaves and add whole grain crackers.
If you’ve never tried endive, here’s your opportunity. Prized around the world, endive is the elegant member of the chicory family. This family includes escarole and curly endive, most often used for salad greens.
Endive is difficult to grow, going through a two-step growth process. There’s interesting information on the Discover Endive website. It’s not only pretty, coming in both red and white colors, but it’s really good for you! For buying and storage tips, read here.
Then and Now
Green Goddess was popular from the 1920′s through the 1980′s then practically disappeared after the advent of Ranch dressing. Some say the original was created by a chef at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel, named for a hit 1920′s play. Some say it heralds back to the chef for French King Louis XIII. Either way, the flavors work great for how we eat today. You could even spread it on bread for a terrific turkey sandwich.
Set the cream cheese out to soften for at least and hour or two. It will be easier to blend. In the mean time, chop your shallot and herbs. When the cream cheese is soft, place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well until smooth with a whisk or flexible spatula. You can also use a food processor. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper.
You can use ground black pepper but the white disappears nicely in this recipe. Make it a few hours ahead or the day before.
To make it look like the photos, use a disposable piping bag and a large star tip. If' that's too fussy for you, scoop it into a bowl and serve as a dip with the endive leaves, raw veggies and crackers.
The herbed cream cheese will last 4-5 days in the refrigerator well covered.
Spread it on a sandwich or use it in a wrap, like this turkey wrap.
Endive with Herbed Cream Cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temp, softened
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup Mayonnaise or Vegenaise
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill plus extra for garnish if desired
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- ½ teaspoon anchovy paste optional
- ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4-6 heads Belgian endive
- In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate until needed. Taste and adjust to your preferences. It’s best made a few hours or a day ahead so the flavors have time to meld and develop.
- When well chilled, place filling into a piping bag with a star or French tip. Trim the stem end of the endive leaves and carefully peel the leaves off of the base of the head so you have individual leaves. Place on a platter and fill from the piping bag. Alternatively, spoon the filing into a small bowl or ramekin and serve the endive leaves and crackers around it for guests to help themselves.