My husband and I have hosted a lot of holiday parties lately. I’ve been known to spend hours preparing a particular dessert or entree, but I’m funny when it comes to appetizers. I’m not a big fan of spending longer on an appetizer than it takes to consume. These take a bit of prep which flies in the face of that theory, but it was worth it because everyone loved them and they literally disappeared off the serving tray.
These endive leaves are like a fancy loaded potato and are sure to impress your guests. Each endive leaf is filled with chopped sweet potato and topped with bacon bits, a dollop of sour cream, and chopped chives. It’s a simple set of tasty ingredients all together for a tasty appetizer.
Endive with Sweet Potato and Bacon Recipe
(Makes about 20 appetizers)
- 1 medium sized sweet potato
- 3 slices bacon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 heads of endive
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- fresh chives, chopped
- Peel the sweet potato and chop it into large chunks.
- Fill a medium saucepan with water and add the roughly chopped sweet potato. Bring it to a boil and cook it until the chunks are fork tender.
- Remove the sweet potato chunks. Once they’ve cooled, chop them into finer pieces (small enough so that a bunch of them can fit into each endive leaf, but not so small that they look like they were mashed). Set them aside.
- In a medium pan, cook the bacon.
- Once the bacon is cooked, transfer them to a paper towel. Once they’ve cooled, finely chop them. Set them aside.
- Add the finely chopped sweet potato to the pan of bacon fat. Season it with pepper and salt. Cook it for a few minutes.
- Cut about an inch off of the bottom of the head of endive.
- Peel a leaf off of the head and place a few pieces of the finely chopped sweet potato onto it.
- Next, sprinkle some finely chopped bacon on top.
- Dollop with a small amount of sour cream.
- Top with a sprinkling of chopped fresh chives.
- Repeat the process (step 8 on) for each endive leaf.
I didn’t take any pictures of the cooking process because I think the steps are pretty self explanatory. Also, I was rushing to get it done before the in-laws got to us. Taking pictures really adds so much extra time!
Okay, back to these pretty things… If you’ve never eaten an endive before, it’s a bitter tasting green. I will admit that it’s an acquired taste, meaning you either love them or hate them. I love them and my husband doesn’t. To each their own!
The endive leaves are perfectly shaped to hold some filling. This filling has a variety of textures and flavors, which pairs great with the crunchy leaves. In fact, the filling is so awesome tasting that my husband loves it by itself. (Note to self, figure out how to make the filling into its own appetizer.)
I love sweet potatoes. They are a tad sweeter than the standard issue white potato and that helps to offset some of the bitterness from the endive. It also adds great color to these bite sized savory treats. Can you see why I compared this to a fancy loaded potato? 😉
To add more crunch, I sprinkled some bacon bits on top. Mmm, bacon. Bacon makes everything taste better. If you want to make this a vegetarian appetizer, feel free to omit it. However, you may want to substitute it with one of your favorite vegetarian friendly ingredients in order to make sure that it isn’t bland. I haven’t tried it yet so let me know if you go this route.
No “loaded” anything can be called complete without sour cream and chives.
When your guests see these gorgeous appetizers they will instantly be wowed. They are so tasty, they’ll keep coming back for more, so they won’t last long!
Slightly Adapted From: Fine Cooking
Here are some of my other favorite appetizers that I’ve served over the holidays.