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FRESH and Festive: Easy Appetizers

Last Friday’s “Festive” post was all about bruschetta and variations on this classic appetizer.  Writing this inspired me to take the appetizer idea one step further and give some additional ideas for quick appetizers to consider for this holiday season’s festivities.

Each can be produced in 20 minutes or less and many can be served at room temperature.  Also, given the fact that I have yet to see someone who can handle a plate, wine glass and fork successfully, I like to present options that do not require a plate.  Choose a few and spend a short hour or two, max, in the kitchen and you’ll be good to go!

  • Stuff jarred piquillo peppers with goat cheese crumbles and drizzle with olive oil, then top with an anchovy fillet.
  • Sear skirt steak to medium-rare.  Cut into 1/2-inch chunks.  Spread FRESH crostini bread with coarse mustard and top with steak and coarse salt.
  • Toss high-quality crab meat with minced shallots, a little tarragon, parsley and/or basil, and enough mayonnaise to bind. Serve on lettuce leaves.
  • Chop shrimp fine, then sauté in oil.  Mix premade pesto with mayonnaise and add shrimp.  Chill and then serve on toast points.
  • Combine about 1 pound pitted black olives in food processor with 1/4 cup drained capers, 5 anchovies, 2 garlic cloves, black pepper and olive oil as necessary to make a coarse paste.  Serve on crostini or flatbread.
  • Cut button mushrooms into chunks and toss with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Let rest 5 minutes. Spear 2 chunks with a piece of parmesan about the same size.
  • Take 3/4-inch thick slices of cucumber.  Scoop out most of the seeds, leaving the bottom of each slice intact. Fill it with a spoonful of yogurt, sour cream or crème fraîche mixed with dill, and top with caviar or salmon roe.

While the above might be relatively simple, if you just aren’t in the mood to even attempt the DIY method, FRESH can save the day with chef-prepared dips and sauces, cheese and charcuterie platters, and all types of delicious finger foods.  You can check out our catering options online.

Happy party planning!