Grilled Pear, Fig and Endive Flatbread with Blue Cheese

By TheWimpyVegetarian
September 14, 2011
26 Comments


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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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.

More Great Recipes:
Fruit|Cheese|Make Ahead|Serves a Crowd|Fall|Vegetarian|Snack|Hors D'Oeuvre|Appetizer

Reviews (26) Questions (0)

26 Comments

ashleychasesdinner September 17, 2011
Yum! I can't wait to try! Wonderful picture too!!
 
Author Comment
TheWimpyVegetarian September 18, 2011
Thanks so much ashley! I hope you enjoy it!
 
SKK September 17, 2011
I love everything about this recipe! Have saved it and will be serving it this week.
 
Author Comment
TheWimpyVegetarian September 17, 2011
Thanks so much SKK!! I'll be anxious to hear how it goes!
 
gingerroot September 16, 2011
This looks and sounds amazing! Love all the flavors you have here.
 
Author Comment
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2011
Thanks much gingerroot!! I think we must be drawn to so many of the same flavors since I always love your recipes!
 
JSCooks September 16, 2011
I was fortunate to get a taste of this at a recent event. Thanks, ChezSuzanne -- it was delicious!
 
Author Comment
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2011
Thanks so much Jennie! It was great to see you this week at the wine event - so fun. Have a great weekend!
 
boulangere September 15, 2011
Beautiful. Love the Belgian endive here.
 
Author Comment
TheWimpyVegetarian September 15, 2011
Thanks b! The Belgian endive really adds a nice crunch and balances out the flavors so nicely.
 
BlueKaleRoad September 15, 2011
What a delicious combination of flavors! This is a perfect fall recipe. Can't wait to make it!
 
Author Comment
TheWimpyVegetarian September 15, 2011
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!
 
BlueKaleRoad September 15, 2011
Ohhhh, love your suggestion of walnuts. I'll definitely include some!
 
boulangere September 15, 2011
Oh thank heaven - another nut allergy person!
 
Author Comment
TheWimpyVegetarian September 15, 2011
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.
 
lapadia September 15, 2011
Yes please, CS!
 
Author Comment
TheWimpyVegetarian September 15, 2011
Thanks lapadia :-)
 
Lizthechef September 14, 2011
I'm all over your recipe - this looks wonderful. Love the 3 cheese combo - thumbs up!
 
Author Comment
TheWimpyVegetarian September 15, 2011
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!
 
fiveandspice September 14, 2011
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!
 
Author Comment
TheWimpyVegetarian September 15, 2011
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!!
 
Author Comment
TheWimpyVegetarian September 15, 2011
oops! I meant to write that it protects against ovarian cancer!
 
hardlikearmour September 14, 2011
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!
 
Author Comment
TheWimpyVegetarian September 14, 2011
Thanks HLA! I'm just so sad it's now all gone....
 
hardlikearmour September 14, 2011
That's just a good reason to make some more!
 
Author Comment
TheWimpyVegetarian September 15, 2011
And that is why we're friends, HLA. I think I'll do just that :-)