Endive Boats with Fresh Ricotta and Roasted Beets Recipe

Serving light hors d’oeuvres that won’t spoil your guests’ appetites before they sit down for dinner should always be a priority. They’re as colorful as they are delicious — not to mention festive and light as a cloud! No wonder these cheerful boats have become a fixture at my fall and winter dinner parties.

Go the extra mile and make these scrumptious hors d’oeuvres with homemade ricotta and I bet your guests will be asking for seconds.


*Note: The beets can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

**Note: The boats can be assembled up to 30 minutes ahead and kept at room temperature. Do not prepare too far ahead of time as the endives will wilt.


  • 4 medium-sized red beets, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped finely
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 large Belgian endives, trimmed and leaves pulled from core (about 24 large leaves)
  • 12 ounces fresh ricotta cheese
  • Chives, for garnish

Whipped Beet Ricotta

If you&rsquove never had whipped ricotta, it&rsquos a must try! It&rsquos one of our absolute favorite appetizers to enjoy as a family or to make for a party. So simple, yet so scrumptious! Brandon and I will even make a batch of it just for ourselves to enjoy on a date night in with lots of veggies, lightly toasted bread and crackers to dip in it. Mmmm&hellipmmmm!

For springtime, I wanted to spruce up our regular whipped ricotta with the vibrant flavor and color of beets. Such a beautiful and tasty twist. We&rsquore obsessed!

Just blend ready-to-eat beets together with lemon juice and gently mix it in with the already whipped ricotta. The results are a light and airy dip with an absolutely beautiful look and taste. It&rsquos an appetizer I&rsquom eager to make often because I know everyone enjoys it. The opportunities to make it are endless: brunch, dinner party appetizer, date night in, ladies lunch, summertime or springtime snack board, bridal shower, baby shower, engagement party&hellip

It&rsquos easy, beautiful, and oh so delicious! Simply make the dip and set it out on a board or platter with toasted baguette slices and a variety of fresh vegetables. Some perfect springtime vegetables that accompany this whipped beet ricotta so well are:

  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Snow peas
  • Broccolini
  • Cauliflower
  • Endive leaves

I recently shared this stunning Whipped Beet Ricotta Board in the Spring 2020 Issue of IBB Home Magazine along with a delicious Skillet Chicken Piccata, amazing Carrot Cake Cookies and refreshing Sparkling Raspberry Mojitos. It&rsquos sure to be a delicious spring with all of these beautiful recipes&hellip

I hope you and your loved ones enjoy this Whipped Beet Ricotta recipe as much as we do. When you make it and share on social media, be sure to tag me @thebakermama so I can see. I love seeing you make and enjoy the recipes I share!

Reviews ( 25 )

I really, really love this appetizer. A tasty embellishment is the addition of pomegranate seeds on top. The red adds a nice touch as does the tart juicy burst of flavor. Once I take these to a gathering, I can't show up with anything different at subsequent get-togethers without disappointing a few people. And then I tell them it's from Cooking Light!

Really very good. Served these as a light appetizer before Thanksgiving dinner--didn't want the guests to spoil their appetites, but also didn't want them passing out from hunger before dinner was ready. It served the purpose. I used grapes instead of orange sections because I didn't want to bother with the prep for the oranges. Husband and guests loved it! I'll be making this one again!

I made these for bridge and they love them - they were the hit of the night! I did get two heads of endive as someone suggested and increased the balsamic vinegar and orange juice to 1/3 c. for plenty of sauce. I used pecans, mandarin oranges and blue cheese because I had them on hand. I will be making these again - easy and delicious!

This turned out pretty good, if not great, which was surprising considering all the other reviews. A few tips: Get more that 2 heads of endive so that you can have plenty of the larger leaves. The smaller leaves are really difficult to get all of the ingredients into properly If possible, ensure the balsalmic mixture is reduced enough to where it's somewhat thick and not so runny. Otherwise, it easily drips out of the individual endive leaves and makes a mess.

I love this recipe! I changed a few things and made it with chopped apple (spritzed with fresh lemon) and gorgonzola instead of oranges. I also used 3 heads of endive (party of 8) because it always goes so fast.

Wow! Took these to a party and they were gone in a flash! Used the non-stick foil for the walnuts and had no issues. This recipe will give you a gourmet cook reputation!

This was such a delicious dish! And so quick and easy to make. It took just 15min. Who would have ever thought navel oranges would go so well with this dish! We were having leftovers, and I wanted to add something special to the dinner. This did the trick! I highly recommend everyone to try this. You will not be disappointed.

Delicious combination of flavors! Easy to make ahead of time and drizzle with the reduction just before serving.

I made these for a large birthday party we attended. Doubled the recipe. They were gone in a blink of an eye. Very well received. Made a beautiful presentation. They are very time consuming to make, but have a really good blend of flavors. I made exactly as the recipe stated - did not change a thing.

I have been making this for years and it is always a hit. Probably my most requested appetizer recipe. Now my daughter is making it for her friends.

It's only been the last four years that I've learned to cook, and at age 45 it's time I took FOOD to a pot-luck, instead of bringing the paper plates. This recipe showed up in my inbox the morning of a Christmas party and I decided to go for it - and got RAVE REVIEWS! I used mandarin oranges as someone else suggested, and probably went light on drizzling the balsamic reduction, because I had some left over, but ALL the guests where trying to find me to exclaim how great these were. I made them again for another party this weekend and didn't have chives - Use the chives, it adds that extra something special. The other great thing is this recipe only makes 16 spears, so when the plate is empty quickly, you look like an amazing chef '-) Highly recommend ! Tammy E

Endive Boats – Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

A friend of mine made this for a volunteer meeting I was at. I recreated it and added my own spin. My family loved it at Christmas and I will make it again for other parties, for sure!

These pretty appetizers have a lot going for them: The sweetness and crunch of the honeyed walnuts. The crunch of the endive with the smooth goat cheese and cranberries!


  • ⅓ cups Walnuts, Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey, Divided
  • ¼ cups Balsamic Vinigar
  • 3 Tablespoons Orange Juice
  • 16 leaves Belgian Endive
  • 16 pieces Orange Sections (Satsumas Are Best But Any Orange Will Work) - Optional
  • ⅓ cups Goat Cheese
  • ⅓ cups Dried Cranberries
  • 1 Tablespoon Chives (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoons Black Crack Pepper (Optional)


Combine walnuts and 1 tablespoon honey spread on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.

Combine remaining 1 tablespoon honey, vinegar, and orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, and cook until reduced to 3 tablespoons (about 5 minutes).

Fill each endive leaf with:

1 orange section (optional)
1 teaspoon cheese
1 teaspoon walnuts
1 or 2 dried cranberries

Arrange on a plate. Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over the leaves. Add black pepper and chives (optional).

I like the taste of the cranberries, cheese, walnuts with the balsamic reduction, so that is how I usually make it. But I have also had them with the orange slices and chives. Be creative. Change out the cheese for blue cheese. Try different combos. Also, if you have no endive leaves, use a different leaf (romaine hearts, etc.).

Pickled Beet Endive Boats

Appetizers should look as good as they taste. This one fits the bill. Elegant endive leaves provide a sturdy base for this inspiring tangy filling.

2 medium-sized beets, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup (125 mL) rice vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) organic sugar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
4 oz (112 g) soft goat cheese
1 small apple, finely diced
2 tsp (10 mL) fresh thyme
1 shallot, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp (2 mL) black pepper
4 heads Belgian endive, leaves separated
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped walnuts

Place beets in heatproof container. In small saucepan, bring vinegar, 1/2 cup (125 mL) water, sugar, and salt to a simmer. Once sugar and salt have dissolved, pour mixture over beets and let sit for at least 1 hour.

In bowl, stir together goat cheese, apple, thyme, shallot, lemon juice, and pepper.

Arrange endive leaves on serving platter and place some of the pickled beet on the paler end of each leaf. Top beets with goat cheese mixture and sprinkle walnuts over filling.

Each serving contains: 86 calories 3 g protein 5 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat) 8 g total carbohydrates (6 g sugars, 2 g fibre) 192 mg sodium

Easy Vegan Chickpea Endive Boats

Looking for a simple appetizer to bring to events and parties? Or maybe you just need an easy and filling snack for the week? I made these originally for a party that had some folks with dietary restrictions and they were a huge hit. Endive is just fun to eat so that helps these get snapped up quickly. These Easy Vegan Chickpea Boats are the perfect snack or appetizer for any occasion. To make the recipe vegan friendly, I swapped out greek yogurt and honey for vegenaise and agave nectar. I also took out the addition of olive oil, since vegenaise contains olive oil and I wanted something light and creamy. This recipe definitely hits those marks.

This Easy Vegan Chickpea Endive Boats recipe took some chopping and cutting, but it was still so simple to assemble and only took about 20 minutes total, including the assembly! If you can’t find endive leaves at your local grocery store, try finding a substitute such as little gem or small Bibb lettuce leaves. If you like to work ahead of time, especially if you are prepping for a special gathering or event, you can mix all of the ingredients together a day in advance (minus the pears) and store tightly sealed in your refrigerator. A few hours before the event, add the pears, stir, fill the leaves, and go.

Making the Easy Vegan Chickpea Endive Boats

To get started, you will need a large mixing bowl, a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon for mixing, a whisk, a set of measuring cups and spoons, and a sharp chef’s knife or something similar. You are going to begin with adding the vegenaise , agave nectar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and pepper to the large mixing bowl. Then, you’ll miix the ingredients together with a whisk to get rid of clumps.

Vegenaise is a great way to incorporate creaminess into many dishes, and it tastes so similar to mayonnaise. Swap it out for mayonnaise, or in this case, greek yogurt to make the recipe vegan friendly or if a friend or family member has an egg or dairy allergy. Agave is also a great substitute for honey (did you know honey is not vegan?) in many dishes, dressings, or drinks. You could also swap maple syrup for honey, but agave is more mild in flavor and is easily incorporated into dishes and drinks without detection. Another swap you can make is red onion instead of green onion if you like the taste and addition of purple/red to your endive boats. I really liked the look of all of the greens in the dish and prefer the taste of green onion, so it just depends on your preference.

After you mix the first set of ingredients together, you will dice your pears and add them to the large bowl (unless you are making this a day or more in advance). The pears will add a little more sweetness to your dish and balance out the other flavors, along with adding more nutrients! You will continue with finely chopping the celery and adding them to the bowl, then chopping the green onion and parsley and adding them to the bowl. After you have done that, rinse and drain the chickpeas and add them to the bowl. The chickpeas will round out our veggie-filled dish and add some protein and additional fiber content. Mix all of the ingredients together until they are well combined and evenly coated with the vegenaise mixture. At this point, I tasted the mixture to make sure I didn’t need to add anything additional. Add a little more of certain ingredients to taste, or cut down on certain ingredients if you like less of an ingredient (I am not a huge onion fan so I took some out of the recipe). Then, you’re ready to fill the endive leaves!

Assembling the Easy Vegan Chickpea Endive Boats

Now, this part was a little tricky. The ‘boats’ like to tip over as you attempt to fill them (patience is a virtue). I’ll be honest and tell you that having another person there to hold them for you is the easiest by far. Otherwise, try using a small spoon to put the mixture into the endive leaves while you hold each leaf with your other hand. I leaned the leaves up against each other to keep each one from tipping over. I had to transport these delicious boats to a party, however, so I would recommend waiting until you arrive at your destination and then assembling them, otherwise you are going to have a lot of capsized boats in your container. I would also recommend using a curved dish with a lip around the edges to prop the endive leaves up against so you don’t lose the filling of the boats. This will also make it easier to fill all of the endive leaves.

You can also get creative with the finished product and add some tasty almond slivers to the tops of each one for a nutty flavor (be aware of allergies, though). These Easy Vegan Chickpea Endive Boats were a hit at the party I made them for – I didn’t have any to take home! I chose this recipe specifically because I had to create appetizers for many diet restrictions – vegan, soy-free, sesame-free, and gluten-free. So, my options were limited. but, I ended up creating an amazing, delicious spread of appetizers for everyone. Check out my other allergen and plant-based-friendly recipes on the blog: Crostini with Beans, Ricotta, Honey and Thyme, Garden Cherry Tomato Bruschetta, No Bake Spinach Artichoke Herb Dip, Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms, and more!

I was worried about adding the pears in with the rest of the ingredients because I didn’t want them to start browning and alter the look and flavor of the dish. I could have cut and added the pears at the party, but I chose not to for time sake. In my experience, adding the pears ahead of time turned out perfectly fine and they did not brown. If you are making this dish a day or so in advance, though, you may want to wait until a few hours the day of the event to put the pears in. That way, you will still have a bright green dish and preserve the flavor of the pears.

Shrimp and Citrus Endive Cups with Lavender

Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

This is just the perfect little bite for baby showers, lady’s luncheons, or any other spring gathering. Shrimp is so delicate and slightly sweet in flavor – and we know it pairs beautifully with lemon, but I’ve found that the floral notes of lavender pair with it just as well! It gives the shrimp a light and bright flavor that feels perfect for the beginning of spring. And with crisp cucumber and fresh mint, it’s really refreshing, too.

Why endive instead of a crostini? I’ve always preferred to use endive as a vehicle for appetizers like this. It’s a great gluten-free option for people with dietary restrictions, and it offers such a crisp little bite that other lettuces and crostini just can’t deliver.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut the endives in half and discard outer leaves. Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the endives. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Carefully turn endives over and sauté for another 5 minutes.

Combine the orange juice with the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Add the salt. Arrange the endives in a buttered baking dish. Pour the sauce over the endive and top with the orange zest and fresh parsley.

Bake for about 30 minutes - until endives have softened. Serve and enjoy!

Beet & Orange Endive Boats

Here’s the thing about beets: They are not difficult to cook. But for some reason, when I buy them in a beautiful bunch from the farmers market, they sit in my produce drawer for weeks. I’m not sure what my deal is, but I am the laziest when it comes to cooking them.

This is the precise reason that I’ve been a big fan of Love Beets for quite a while now- their beets are simply steamed and peeled and ready to use, which means I actually get to eat them instead of watching them wilt in my fridge- So I was thrilled when they asked me to create a recipe for their ready for anything beets!

These little endive boats are the perfect party starter. Beets and oranges are the stars of the show, but feel free to customize them with your favorite flavors.

Beet & Orange Endive Boats

prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: none!
yield: about 40 boats / serves 8-10 as an appetizer

4 heads endive and/or oblong radicchio
8 ounces goat cheese or cashew cheese (see recipe below)
1 package Love Beets steamed beets, small diced
4 oranges, peel and pith removed and small diced

optional additions:
shaved fennel & fennel fronds
fresh herbs
toasted nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios are all great)

  1. Cut off the cores of the endives and separate the leaves.
  2. Spread about a teaspoon of goat cheese or cashew cheese on each leaf.
  3. Top with a few pieces of beets, a few pieces or orange, and the optional additions if desired.

Cashew Cheese
2 cups raw cashews, soaked in 4 cups cold water for at least 8 hours
20 billion organisms probiotics, about 1/2 teaspoon (optional for culturing)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream or tartar
1 tablespoon water, or more as needed.

Endives with oranges and almonds

I realize this might not look like much. It probably looks suspiciously like a salad, which means it’s probably going to be the last kid picked for your holiday cooking olympics. It doesn’t taste like ginger, linzer or crushed candy canes. It smacks of January Food, the stuff of resolutions and repentance, and there’s no time for that now. But I need to tell you about it anyway, urgently, because the preoccupation with this salad has hit me so intensely, so wholly, it’s basically the only thing I want to eat, and since I’m ostensibly the grownup here, this is exactly what I’m going to do.

I had this for the first time two weekends ago, when I got to spring a surprise Miami Beach getaway on my husband as a belated birthday present. We had dinner the first night at José Andrés’ Bazaar, the kind of prolonged, indulgent meal that, I’m sure purely coincidentally, usually only occurs when we’re not simultaneously parenting. I don’t think we had a bite of food that was less than pristine. I’ve been a little obsessed with Andrés’ cooking since I lived in DC, right around the time Jaleo opened. I remember piling in there one night in 1999 with friends in town from New York and one told us that he really wanted to study in Paris the next year, but he needed someone to stay in his rent-controlled East Village apartment and also take care of his cat while he was gone. My roommate and I have never volunteered ourselves so quickly, not that anyone asked me my “welcome to new york” story. Even without such life-changing memories, the food was perfect, and no matter how many pork and scallop products were on the menu, there were always vegetables too, treated as carefully and respectfully as the finest jamón serrano. Our Miami meal was no different, which is why I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that of everything we ate, it was this seemingly random composition of goat cheese, almonds, oranges, chives, sea salt, endive, sherry vinegar and olive oil that I haven’t stopped pining over since.

My mother and I had this for lunch on Friday. I had more with dinner. I managed to eke another plate in on Sunday night and I can tell you with unwavering certainty that I will be eating this alongside my latkes on Tuesday. It’s at once a salad, appetizer and also finger food for parties, because, well, if you think I ate those little endive boats with a knife and fork, you might be mistaking me for someone with better breeding. Besides, how better to taste the happy commingling of fragrant citrus, tangy cheese, crunch of deeply toasted almonds, droplets of intense sherry vinegar and fruity olive oil, all finished with sea salt than to grab it by the endive boat and sail off with it?

On the radio: I’ll be on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC at 1 p.m. EST today, and we’re talking about Hanukah food delights: latkes, doughnuts, brisket and more. [Details]

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Frozen Coconut Limeade
1.5 Years Ago: Bowties with Sugar Snaps, Lemon and Ricotta
2.5 Years Ago: Chocolate Swirl Buns
3.5 Years Ago: Rich Homemade Ricotta

Endives with Oranges and Almonds
Inspired by a version at José Andrés’ Bazaar in Miami Beach

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a light meal

3 oranges (I used 2 navel and one cara cara orange)
2 heads of endive
2 ounces soft goat cheese or chevre, crumbled
1/3 cup sliced almonds or chopped marcona almonds, well-toasted
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil for drizzling
Sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon minced chives
Flaky or other sea salt, to finish

Cut the top and bottom off your oranges, exposing the citrus flesh inside. Then, resting on either end, cut the peels, including the white pith, off the oranges. [Set aside for orangettes!] Use your knife to cut between each membrane and orange segment, cutting only so far as the center, which should release the orange segments. You can chop them once or twice more, so the pieces are not too large.

Trim end off endives and arrange individual leaves on a medium platter. Add a few orange chunks to each, then goat cheese crumbles and almonds. Season with black pepper, then drizzle with a very thin stream of olive oil. Add a few droplets of sherry vinegar to each “boat.” Scatter chives over and finish each with sea salt.