Apples & Onions
Every seasoned entertainer should have a few simple-to-assemble appetizers in their back pocket. The last thing you want to worry about before your spontaneous Wednesday game night gathering is pre-heating your oven and wrapping Brie in puff pastry.
In need of some fresh ideas? Here are a few simple appetizers that can be assembled from store-bought ingredients or whipped up in a flash.
1. Fresh dates with ricotta and mint: Halve some fresh dates and remove the seed. Spoon in a dollop of fresh ricotta cheese and top with a sprig of mint. Consider this the no-bake cousin of devils on horseback.
2. Fresh herb pizza: Pick up a good-quality pizza from a local restaurant. Cut it into small wedges and serve at room temperature sprinkled with fresh basil.
3. Shrimp chips and hoisin sauce: Pick up a big order of those crispy shrimp chips from a local Vietnamese restaurant and serve with hoisin sauce for dipping.
4. Rosemary and orange olives: Buy an assortment of whole gourmet olives packed in brine. Drain them and toss with minced fresh rosemary, the zest of an orange, and some olive oil. Mix well and serve at room temperature.
5. Aged Cheddar, apple slices, and crackers: Everyone loves Cheddar, so pick out a beautiful and crumbly aged wedge and serve it with some slices of Fuji or Gala apples and wheat crackers. Just be sure to squeeze a lemon over your apple slices to keep them from browning.
6. Flatbread wedges with spreads: Many bakeries carry flatbreads in assorted flavors; you can also hunt for frozen flatbread at your gourmet grocery store (never hurts to have a couple already in the freezer for impromptu entertaining). Serve it with an herbed cheese spread like Boursin and red pepper pesto.
7. Crudités with olive tapenade dip: Liven up a vegetable platter with store-bought or homemade olive tapenade dip.
8. Celery, carrots, and potato chips with blue cheese dip: Blue cheese dip is super fast to make and your guests will rave over its retro, creamy goodness. Buy whole carrots and celery and cut them into matchsticks for optimum flavor and freshness.
9. Crudités with orange miso dip: Our simple orange-infused miso dressing is a sweet and salty low-calorie dip for vegetables. Try giving your vegetable platter an Asian flair with snap peas, red pepper slices, and broccoli florets for dipping.
10. Charcuterie with whole-grain mustard, cornichons, and fresh baguette: If you are not serving dinner, it’s nice to offer your guests some protein. Pick up some shaved cured meats from an Italian deli or gourmet market. Arrange them on a platter with whole grain mustard, cornichons, and slices of fresh bread.