Endive Spears with Sweet Potato, Bacon and Chives

Endive Spears | Pinky's PantryThis recipe comes from the January 2009 issue of Fine Cooking magazine. My sister, Helen, who is an excellent cook was the first one to try it. She decided to be adventurous, though, and substituted prosciutto for the bacon (which turned out equally delicious). When you first read the ingredients list, you think, “Endives and sweet potato? Ehh….” (said in the voice of Gru’s Mom from “Despicable Me”). It just doesn’t sound like a good combination at all. But prepare to be wowed. This recipe is surprising in its deliciousness. Everyone who’s tried it loves it. The bacon gives it just the right oomph! One bite and you’ll just have to have another one….. and another one….. and another one. Yes, it’s that good. And even better? It’s super easy to make!
Endive Spears | Pinky's PantryEndive Spears | Pinky's Pantry


  • 3 slices bacon, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice (about 1½ cups)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. thinly sliced fresh chives
  • 2 medium heads Belgian endive
  • ¼ cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  1. Cook the bacon in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until it has rendered some of its fat, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potato and ¼ tsp. each salt and pepper.
  3. Cook, stirring, until the sweet potato is tender and the bacon starts to crisp, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Stir in 2 tbsp. of the chives and season with more salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Let cool for a couple of minutes.
  6. Slice the bottom ½ inch off the endives so some of the outer leaves break free. Cut another ½ inch off and break some more leaves free. Keep going until all the larger leaves are free. (You should have about 20.) If you like, trim the leaves so they’re all the same length. Save the remaining endive for a salad.
  7. Set the endive leaves on a large platter.
  8. Spoon the sweet potato mixture near the base of the leaves.
  9. Top each with a dollop of the crème fraîche and then sprinkle with the remaining chives.
  10. Serve immediately or let sit for up to 20 minutes before serving.

(Serves 8)