Yum

Endive leaves with blue cheese and blackberries, drizzled with a blackberry sauce.

Endive leaf scoops filled with blue cheese and blackberries-recipe.

Summer demands easy entertaining and food that refreshes. I’m generally carrying a fan around the house to stay cool on days the San Francisco fog stays out at sea (I have a svelte little tower model by Wexford that I love), and have loads of things I’d rather do than slave in a hot kitchen for hours on end during the hottest part of the day.

So on days that sizzle, when friends stop by for a casual dinner off the grill, this little appetizer that takes all of 20 minutes to make totally rocks. And if you make the Blackberry Sauce ahead of time, like I do, this becomes a 10 minute appetizer guaranteed to please.  Just drizzle a little over a blackberry studded endive scoop of blue cheese mixed with Greek yogurt, bring out a bottle (or two) of Rios de Chile wine, and you may not need to serve dinner at all.

All of this is in honor of National Berry Month. Truthfully, every month is berry month for me since I have berries of some kind almost every day of the year, but when they peak with their fat, juicy, sweetness in July, they definitely deserve their own month. So when I was asked to participate with six other bloggers to create a starter using Driscoll’s berries and endive (that’s ‘ON-deeve, by the way) from California Endive that could be paired with Rios de Chile wine, I jumped at the opportunity.

A little about Driscoll’s:

Family owned for over 100 years, Driscoll’s is passionate about growing premium fresh berries. Every berry begins life in Driscoll’s nurseries, carefully sited based on their geographic isolation in an effort to keep the soil free of pests and diseases. Seedlings move from germ-free screen houses to nursery fields, a process that can take several years. After the seedlings are harvested, they are carefully packed and shipped to Driscoll’s coolers where they’re kept chilled in hibernation until ready for planting by Driscoll’s network of independent farmers. The berries are grown by farmers in California and Mexico – and I’m fortunate enough to have three of their farms within a 90 minute drive of our home.

A little about California Endive:

A couple of years ago I took a fascinating tour of California Endive’s farm. Only it doesn’t really look like a farm you might be used to seeing. Endive is actually the result of a two-stage growing process. Chicory seeds are sown in the spring producing a root the size of a large carrot by fall. The leafy tops are mowed down and used as fodder for animals. The roots are harvested and placed in cold, dark, humid, “forcing” rooms to produce endives. It’s an amazing site to draw aside heavy plastic sheets to peer inside a cavernous growing room stacked 20 feet high with endive ‘fields’, all carefully irrigated and kept completely in the dark. Endive can be served cooked or raw but has slightly more health benefits raw. It promotes digestive health, boasts 1 calorie per leaf, is a good source of potassium, and just one cup of raw endive per week has been shown to lower ovarian cancer rates by 75% !

A little about Rios de Chile:

This is a new wine for me, and what a find it was! Rios de Chile’s wine is a Chilean winery with both red and wine wines to their credit. Their reds in particular have won high rankings by the wine media. They sent me a couple of bottle of their Carmenere, a red wine I found full-flavored, very fruity, and a little peppery. It was perfect paired with the mustiness of blue cheese and sweet fruit of the berries!

To follow any of these companies, go find them on twitter:
@driscollsberry
@caendive
@Rios_de_Chile

 

And now for the easy little appetizer!
 
Blackberries, Blue Cheese and Endive Appetizer: #Berry Month

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Serves: ~ 30 endive scoops

Ingredients
Endive Scoops
  • 2 heads endive
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • ¼ c blue cheese
  • ¼ c + 2 T plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 T minced chives
Blackberry Sauce
  • 1 c fresh blackberries
  • 1 T granulated sugar
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ¼ t kosher salt
  • ⅛ t ground black pepper
  • ¼ c extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Slice off the ends of the endive, and separate into individual leaves. No need to wash endive because of the way it's grown.
  2. Rinse the blackberries and dry them well.
  3. Mash together the blue cheese and yogurt until fairly smooth. Either spoon 1 teaspoon into the larger end of each endive leave and top with a blackberry, or snip off the corner of a zip-lock baggie, fit it with a piping nozzle. Fill the bag with the blue cheese-yogurt mixture and pipe it onto each endive leaf.
  4. Drizzle Blackberry Sauce (recipe below) on top with a sprinkle of minced chives.
Blackberry Sauce
  1. Place the blackberries in a medium bowl with the sugar and red wine vinegar and mash the berries. I use a potato masher to do this.
  2. Stir in the shallot, salt, and pepper until the salt dissolves. Stir in the olive oil until emulsified.

 

Disclaimer

I was provided a box of endive, gift certificates for Driscoll’s berries, and two bottles of Rios de Chile wine. All opinions expressed are my own. This post is not a sponsored post—I just want to spread the word on some great food and wine I think you’ll all enjoy!!

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21 Responses to “Blackberries, Blue Cheese & Endive: #Berry Month” Subscribe

  1. apuginthekitchen July 25, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

    Susan this is incredible, so simple but really complex flavors. I love blackberries and endive and the creamy cheesy filling is perfect, everything together must just explode with flavor.
    apuginthekitchen recently posted..Summer Vegetable Cous Cous With Feta And Pine Nuts For Fiesta Friday #26My Profile

  2. Maureen July 25, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    We have Driscoll’s in Australia and I’m rarely disappointed. I like this appetizer a lot. It’s fresh, creamy, sweet and it looks beautiful.
    Maureen recently posted..Foods Australia Brought to the WorldMy Profile

  3. The Food Hunter July 25, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

    What an elegant appetizer!

  4. Michelle July 25, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    I absolutely love each of these flavors on their own. Plus I love berries in savory dishes. I can’t wait to make this.

  5. Ashlee July 25, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

    This seriously sounds divine!

  6. Dionne Baldwin July 25, 2014 at 11:46 pm #

    I usually look at endives with the resignation that they must have some good-for-me value but hearing those details about lowering cancer risk and potassium, I’m sold! I need to work more endive onto our plates. Thanks for this recipe!
    Dionne Baldwin recently posted..Grilled Steak Southwest Salad #WeekdaySupperMy Profile

  7. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious July 26, 2014 at 4:38 am #

    You and I are channeling the same muse today, only you put a sauce on it! Well done!
    Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious recently posted..Summer Fruit in Endive Cups for #BerrymonthMy Profile

  8. Diane {Created by Diane} July 26, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    what a delicious idea!!!
    Diane {Created by Diane} recently posted..Pancake Cookies made in a skilletMy Profile

  9. Laurie C July 27, 2014 at 5:28 am #

    Thanks for the pronunciation note! I wonder if I can find endive in my local produce place. I’ve never looked for it before, but with a sugar substitute, this seems like it would fit pretty well as party food in a low-carb diet!

  10. cheri July 27, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    HI Susan, we have blackberries up and down our drive. Not quite ripe yet, but getting close. This will be one of the dishes I make first, absolutely love this!
    cheri recently posted..Garden To Grill – Salted Fava BeansMy Profile

  11. laurasmess July 28, 2014 at 3:49 am #

    What a gorgeous appetizer Susan! I love everything about it… the piquant blue cheese, sweet blackberries and the peppery endive. With chilled white wine? Heaven! We get Driscoll’s berries in Australia when ours are out of season. Pretty delicious. National Berry Month sounds like a great idea to celebrate nature’s bounty! x
    laurasmess recently posted..Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Buns)My Profile

  12. Cheryl July 29, 2014 at 3:00 am #

    I just love your blog and reading your recipes! I am currently doing a call out for no-bake recipes on my recipe link party, The Yuck Stops Here and would love it if you would bring this recipe, your Vegan Quinoa and Black Bean Wraps with Hummus and your Basil and Chive Compound Butter, or any other no-bake favorites to the party! The party starts tonight (Tuesday) at 8pm ET and can be found on my blog, Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos. I hope to see you there! HUGS
    Cheryl recently posted..Medium Shells with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil and Parmesan #AllstarsBarillaMy Profile

  13. mjskit July 30, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    Thanks for the information on Driscoll’s! I buy most of my berries at Costco and all are Driscoll’s. They are such awesome berries and what a lucky girl to be living so close to a Driscoll’s farm. I’m quite envious. :) I obviously don’t eat enough endive. This great little snack/appetizer is going to be a great way to start eating it. What a creative bite!
    mjskit recently posted..Raspberry Mole’ JamMy Profile

  14. Terra August 24, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    What a lovely appetizer idea, and definitely perfect for a hot Summer day. The recipe sounds delicious and flavorful! Yum, Hugs, Terra
    Terra recently posted..Blueberry Lemon Banana Bites #RecipeReduxMy Profile

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