Grilled Pear, Fig and Endive Flatbread with Blue Cheese

By • September 14, 2011 • 28 Comments

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Author Notes: I'm trying so hard to stay away (mostly) from desserts these days while I try to lose some weight going into the holidays. And while I'm not sure this dish is less calories in the final analysis, it made me feel just a little less guilty. And sometimes, that's enough for me.

Pears, figs and Belgian Endive (California grown) are all tossed in a pear vinaigrette and then grilled until the pears just begin to give off a great caramelized flavor that marries really well with the crunch and flavor of the Endive. But if your grill is 6 feet under (snow) when you want to make this, it also works just fine on top of the stove. I recommend a grill pan, but a simple saute pan will work as well. With either type of pan, lightly oil the surface of the pan with a paper towel so that the fruit doesn't stick and heat it up before putting the fruit on it for a nice sear.

For the cheese, I felt that blue cheese on its own overpowered the dish, and so I tried mixing it with goat cheese and ricotta cheese to get a nice flavor that's a little more complex but still sings out a clear blue cheese note. I used store-bought Na'an to save time, but it will be even better if you make your own flatbread for it!

I served it at a recent wine tasting party and it was a hit. I hope you enjoy it too!
TheWimpyVegetarian

Makes 30 bite-sized appetizers

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
  • 3 pears (I used French Pears, but Bosc and Bartlett are fine here too!)
  • 3 heads of Belgian style endive (I used white, but if you can find red tinted endive that would be beautiful)
  • 6 whole figs (I used Kadota as they can be a little sweeter, but any fresh figs will work here)
  • 2 tablespoons any kind of Pear Vinegar (cider vinegar can be substituted)
  • 2 tablespoons EACH of ricotta cheese, chevre, and blue cheese - all at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (if they're young and not woody, you can include the stems)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Na'an rounds purchased at the store
  1. Heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saute pan and add the onions. Saute on medium-low until nice and soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Slice the pears, with the skin on, into wedges about 1/4" thick. Remove the seeds. Place on a baking sheet. Slice the Belgian Endive in half, lengthwise, and place on the baking sheet. Slice the figs in thirds, lengthwise, and place on the baking sheet. Combine the last tablespoon of olive oil with the Pear Vinegar, a pinch of salt and pepper and swish around. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the fruit and endive and gently, gently rub it over everything for good coverage.
  3. Heat up the grill (or follow the stove top recommendations in the headnote) and place a vegetable grilling sheet on the grill. Let it heat up for 5 minutes. Place the Endive on the grill, cut side facing down, and the fruit on the vegetable grilling sheet. (Without the grilling sheet, the pears and figs will just droop through the grate and fall into the fire.) Grill the Endive until it begins to turn brown and begins to soften a bit, turning it as needed (about 7-10 minutes over direct heat). Grill the fruit until the pears begin to brown and slightly caramelize and the figs soften and become slightly juicy. Remove everything from the grill back to the baking sheet you started with.
  4. Heat the oven to 400F. While it's heating up, mix together the cheeses, fresh thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl with a fork.
  5. Assemble the flatbreads: spread most of the cheese mixture onto the Na'an, leaving about 1 tablespoon behind. Sprinkle on the sauteed onions and layer the pears, endive and figs on top. If desired, dot little bits of the cheese mixture on top and bake until the cheese melts a bit - about 20 - 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and slice up into bite-sized pieces. This can be served at room temperature, but is oh so much better warm.

Tags: autumn appetizer, holiday, make-ahead, mostly vegetarian, savory, serves a crowd, travels well

Comments (28) Questions (0)

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over 2 years ago ashleypiersonchasesdinner

Yum! I can't wait to try! Wonderful picture too!!

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much ashley! I hope you enjoy it!

Buddhacat

over 2 years ago SKK

I love everything about this recipe! Have saved it and will be serving it this week.

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much SKK!! I'll be anxious to hear how it goes!

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

This looks and sounds amazing! Love all the flavors you have here.

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks much gingerroot!! I think we must be drawn to so many of the same flavors since I always love your recipes!

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over 2 years ago JSCooks

I was fortunate to get a taste of this at a recent event. Thanks, ChezSuzanne -- it was delicious!

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much Jennie! It was great to see you this week at the wine event - so fun. Have a great weekend!

Dscn2212

over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Beautiful. Love the Belgian endive here.

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks b! The Belgian endive really adds a nice crunch and balances out the flavors so nicely.

Fb

over 2 years ago BlueKaleRoad

What a delicious combination of flavors! This is a perfect fall recipe. Can't wait to make it!

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much BlueKaleRoad! I could also see this with a crunch of roasted walnuts on top too - if I weren't allergic to them...Would to hear what you think if you make it!

Fb

over 2 years ago BlueKaleRoad

Ohhhh, love your suggestion of walnuts. I'll definitely include some!

Dscn2212

over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh thank heaven - another nut allergy person!

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

You too? One more reason I love your food! I used to cheat a bit on some nuts that I love, but have learned the hard way that I just can't do it and expect not to have some consequences involving a trip to the ER. Such a drag.

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over 2 years ago lapadia

Yes please, CS!

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks lapadia :-)

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 2 years ago Lizthechef

I'm all over your recipe - this looks wonderful. Love the 3 cheese combo - thumbs up!

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks Liz! Yes, well the cheese combo is where I lost a little traction with the diet...:-) but it wouldn't be the same without it!

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

This looks so great ChezSuzanne! I was thinking about making a pear flatbread, including blue cheese, but never would have thought of the endives. I love that addition!

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much fiveandspice! I created this dish to bring to a potluck wine-tasting earlier this week. I knew a friend of mine would be attending who's the head of marketing for California Vegetable Specialties - the only US grower of Belgian Endive, hence the endive since it goes so well with fall fruits like pears and apples. And in case anyone missed it, Dr. Oz reported earlier this week that endive is a great way to protect against cervical cancer! And I would love to see your flatbread! Please post it!!

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

oops! I meant to write that it protects against ovarian cancer!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

This is making my tummy growl. I could eat it every night. Love pears, figs, and cheese and to turn them into a pizza-esque flatbread topping is truly wonderful!

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks HLA! I'm just so sad it's now all gone....

Gator_cake

over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

That's just a good reason to make some more!

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

And that is why we're friends, HLA. I think I'll do just that :-)

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I wish I could make my own flatbread. What a wonderful medley of flavors. Very nice!

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much sdebrango! It's like thin pizza. Kind of. But buying the Na'an fit MUCH better into my schedule this week :-)