Whether you’re entertaining family and friends with an entire dinner, or putting together an intimate cocktail party, it’s handy to have some easy go-to appetizer recipes to compliment the more complicated dishes you are planning. Here are some of our favorite holiday appetizer ideas to start your party off right.
Baguette Toast Toppers
These look impressive and taste great! Cut a baguette into 1/3 inch thick slices, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and then toast in your oven at 350 F until golden and crispy. Top with any of the following:
Antipasto Mix: a finely diced combo of salami, provolone, artichoke hearts, olives and roasted peppers
Caprese Combination: chopped fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and basil, seasoned with olive oil and salt and pepper
Smoked Trout Mix: flaked trout, mayo, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper with some chopped dill for garnish
Bleu Cheese and Honey: any spreadable blue cheese and a drizzle of honey (you can add slices of pear, too)
Chicken Surprise: store-bought rotisserie chicken pieces on a smear of mayo and topped with a honey/Sriracha sauce (to make the sauce, use equal parts of each)
Cut Vegetables and Fruit
It’s always a good idea to have some refreshing options along with heavier appetizers. These two will win you mucho kudos.
Cut Melon with Chili Lime Salt: sprinkle slices of melon just before serving with lime juice, kosher salt and chili powder. If some of your guests are timid, you can serve the salt and chili on the side for dipping. This also works well with jicama and cucumber.
Marinated Mushrooms: thickly slice fresh mushrooms, toss the slices in your favorite Italian dressing, refrigerate for 2 hours.
Arrange an assortment of cheese on a good-looking board -- we suggest a variety of types and shapes to add interest. A soft ripened cheese, a savory type, a hard salty cheese, a cheddar and a bleu accompanied by some grapes, dates, olives, dried apricots and nuts will wow your guests.
Everyone loves a spread of cured meats. Variety is key and arranging the slices nicely is important. Try some dry-cured types like soppressata, or Toscano salami along with some cooked meats such as mortadella and prosciutto cotto. Slices of ham and a terrine of a pate add to the magic. Accompany this platter with whole grain mustards, giardiniera (picked vegetables) and perhaps a fig spread. Crackers or fresh baguette slices are welcomed with this platter.
Yes, dips are old-school, but everyone loves them! Here’s some possibilities -- we recommend you buy these since many on the market nowadays are quite tasty.
Artichoke-Spinach Dip: serve with sturdy pita chips
Spicy Hummus Dip: serve with fresh pita bread and/or baby carrots
Smoked Fish Spread: serve with slices of pumpernickel bread or water crackers
Onion-Sour Cream Dip: serve with ruffled potato chips, of course!
We hope you enjoy these simple ideas as much as our family and friends do. And, you can use all the time you’ve saved to enjoy yourself even more at your own party!
Let us know how you liked them in the comments below.