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Creamy Loaded Pea Pesto Appetizer with Belgian Endive Scoops

Serves 6


    Creamy Loaded Pea Pesto Appetizer with Belgian Endive Scoops

    Our healthy appetizer is loaded with goodness. From the creamy pea pesto to tumbled toppings, its eye-candy appeal will lure the fussiest of eaters. Fresh spring herbs coupled with mouth-puckering lemon juice pop with flavour. We’ve suggested scooping into endive leaves, but you can also spread it on crispy baguette toasts for a quick and easy first bite. Dig in and enjoy!


    Creamy Loaded Pea Pesto Appetizer with Belgian Endive Scoops


    Pea pesto 1 cup (250 mL) shelled fresh or frozen and thawed sweet peas (see tip)

    1 cup (250 mL) cannellini beans

    1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley, plus extra 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh mint 2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced 2 Tbsp (30 mL) nutritional yeast 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh lemon juice 1/2 tsp (2 mL) maple syrup

    1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt, plus extra

    Generous pinch of cayenne pepper 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

    Toppings 1/2 cup (125 mL) grape tomatoes, halved 1/3 cup (80 mL) toasted pine nuts 1/4 cup (60 mL) Kalamata olives, pitted 1/4 cup (60 mL) Castelvetrano olives, pitted

    1/4 cup (60 mL) crumbled feta or dairy-free alternative

    Fruity extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling (optional)

    6 Belgian endives, red and/or green, separated into leaves


    Per serving:

    • calories324
    • protein15g
    • fat17g
      • saturated fat3g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates33g
      • sugars4g
      • fibre16g
    • sodium298mg



    In high-speed blender or food processor, combine all pesto ingredients except oil. Pulse, stopping to scrape sides of bowl with spatula, until combined and beginning to break into a chunky paste. Gradually add oil and continue to pulse until pesto is very smooth. Add a splash of water, if needed, to make mixture smooth and creamy enough for scooping. Add more seasonings to taste, if you wish. Mixture can be stored in tightly covered container in refrigerator for a couple of days. To serve, spread pesto onto large serving platter. Scatter with tomatoes, pine nuts, olives, and feta. Alternatively, smear a generous dollop of pesto onto individual serving plates and scatter with equal amounts of toppings and fresh parsley sprigs. Drizzle with fruity olive oil. Spoon pea pesto and toppings with endive leaves for scooping. Tips:

    • Toss pea pesto and some of the toppings with pasta and serve with shavings of Parmesan. Delicious!
    • If using fresh peas, sauté in a little butter or oil with a dash of salt for 2 minutes or until soft but still bright green. Note that adding a smattering of salt helps peas retain their colour.


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    Beet Falafel Burgers with Dilly Tahini Sauce

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    If a falafel and burger had a love child, this would be it. The result of this hybrid is a vibrantly coloured, complex-flavoured veggie burger you’ll flip over. You can also serve them between toasted hamburger buns with toppings such as sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, and arugula.  Holding it together Many plant-based burgers are crumbly and weak, risking a patty that ends up between the grill grates instead of intact on your plate. Keep your burgers together by forming patties no larger than 1 in (2.5 cm) thick, which ensures a nice, even crust on the outside and a thoroughly warmed-through centre, then chilling the patties before grilling. You can also consider using a burger mould, which gives you denser, equally sized patties that cook evenly. Be sure your grill grates are well greased.  Deep freeze You can freeze uncooked falafel burgers on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or plate and then transfer frozen patties to an airtight container. When ready, just thaw and cook as instructed. Falafel cooking options To bake: Arrange falafel on parchment-lined baking sheet and brush lightly with oil; bake at 375 F (190 C) for 25 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and heated through. To pan fry: Heat large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil (15 mL) for each 2 burgers in the pan, swirl to coat pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until underside is browned. Then flip carefully and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.