Yikes! The guests are early and knocking at the door, dinner is an hour away, and you forgot about hors d’oeuvres. If you don’t want low blood sugar and lackluster conversation, you’d better feed your invites a little something. Here are some fast, simple, healthy appetizers for the last minute, using ingredients you’ve already got around.
French Bread with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. Simply cut the bread into bite sized pieces and serve next to two bowls containing your finest olive oil and your most delicious balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle fresh or dried herbs into the oil and put some toothpicks by the bread to keep the snacking sanitary.
Roasted Red Pepper Mini “Pizzas”. You know that jar of roasted peppers you’ve never figured out what to do with? Here is its chance to shine. Place some large multi-grain crackers on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with grated cheese and chopped sliced roasted peppers (make sure you drain them well first!). You can also add sliced mushrooms, olives or bits of basil if you’ve got it. Bake 4-8 minutes, until the cheese is melted, and serve “Ëœem up right away!
Veggies with Lemon Dill Dip. To make this easy dip, mix 6 tbsp plain organic yogurt, 2 tbsp organic sour cream, 1 ½ tsp chopped fresh or 2 tsp dried dill, 1 tsp fresh organic lemon juice and salt to taste. Don’t forget to cut up some veggies, too!
Cheese-Stuffed Figs or Dates. Stuff split dates with bleu cheese, fine parmesan, goat cheese, mascarpone or manchego. Sprinkle with pine nuts or chopped walnuts. A surprisingly tasty treat! (We’ve got other easy date recipes here.)
Sliced Apples, Cheese and Crackers. If you’ve got gourmet whole-grain artisanal crackers around, they go quite well with thinly sliced tart apples and the best cheeses you can muster. (An aged sharp cheddar or blue cheese will do.) Very simple, but satisfying, too.
Fast Caprese salad. Slice cherry tomatoes in half, top with torn basil leaves and cubes of fresh mozzarella, and drizzle the whole platter generously with fine olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar. Casually elegant and easy!
Alright, now get going! Your guests are almost here!
Image: Jeff Kubina