Endive boats with green olive, parsley and walnut salad

This recipe from 50 Best Plants on the Planet features Belgian endive leaves, perfect containers for these delicious appetizers. Photo: Start with endive

LOS ANGELES, Calif., March 18, 2013 — Endive is a powerhouse of nutrients such as flavonoid glycoside compounds that may act as anti-depressants and improve Parkinson’s symptoms; iron and calcium to keep blood oxygenated, and heart and bones strong; and chicoric acid to cleanse blood. The recipe is from Cathy Thomas’s 50 Best Plants on the Planet.

Recipe and photo courtesy Melissa’s World Produce  

Yields about 24 appetizers

2 c fresh Italian parsley - coarsely chopped  

Endive boats

Endive boats

1 c pitted green olives - coarsely chopped

2  green onions - thinly sliced (including half of dark-green stalks)

1/4 c toasted walnut pieces - coarsely chopped (see cook’s notes)

1/4 c feta cheese - crumbled (or substitute parmesan)

2 t fresh lemon juice

1 t  pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

24 endive leaves

Optional garnish: 1/4 C Pomegranate arils (seeds)

In a medium bowl, combine the parsley, olives, onions, walnuts, and feta. Toss.

In a small bowl or glass measuring cup with a handle, stir together the juice and molasses and season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour the dressing over the onion-parsley mixture; toss.

Arrange the endive leaves on a large platter, preferably round, placing them like the spokes of a wheel, with the pointed ends facing the edge of the plate. Fill the leaves half full with the parsley mixture. If desired, scatter the pomegranate arils on top and serve.        

Cook’s notes: To toast walnut pieces, place them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Watch carefully because nuts burn easily. Let them cool before coarsely chopping and using in the salad.

50 Best Plants on the Planet

50 Best Plants on the Planet

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Linda Mensinga

Linda Mensinga was editor of Culinary Trends for 15 years, now a contributing writer. Researching restaurants and hotels, she interviews the best and brightest chefs, not necessarily the most famous, to learn their secrets and recipes. Their talent and dedication never cease to inspire her. 

Mrs. Mensinga is happily food obsessed and fortunate enough to be married to a chef. 

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