The theme for our recent Aquilino Cancer Center cooking class was nuts. Nuts provide many health benefits. They are a great source of unsaturated fats, phytosterols (plant-derived compound structurally related to cholesterol) and fiber. They also offer vitamins and minerals. People who eat nuts also tend to weigh less, possibly because nuts enhance satiety or suppress hunger.

Endive with Goat Cheese, Strawberries and Walnuts is a nice appetizer salad that you can bring to cookouts and potlucks this summer. It is a very simple recipe and looks awesome on a party platter. The star in this dish is walnuts, which are especially high in alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that converts to healthful EPA/DHA in our body.

Ingredients:

  • 24 large Belgian endive leaves (from 4 heads; about 8 ounces)
  • 3 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 1 ½ cups sliced small-to-medium strawberries
  • ¼ cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil

Preparation:

  1. Arrange endive on a platter. Crumble a little bit of goat cheese onto each leaf.
  2. Top with strawberries and walnuts and sprinkle with salt
  3. Drizzle with oil and honey. Sprinkle with basil.

Tips:

  • Refrigerate stuffed endive for up to 4 hours. Top with oil, honey, and basil just before serving.
  • Use seasonal fruit. Nectarines and halved grapes work well too!