Entertaining is fabulous, something I absolutely love to do and cook for! I was recently asked by a friend,what to serve for a party – she didn’t exactly want to serve dinner, but wanted hearty enough appetizers, as the party was going to be held from 6-9pm .
Below is a list of hearty, simple recipes I’ve made in the past to entertain. I always try to have an array of foods, with different flavors, shapes and sizes, so the spread is aesthetically pleasing as well as delicious.
White cannellini bean & Garlic dip
1 can of cannellini beans
2-3 cloves of garlic
Juice from Lemon wedge
Salt, Pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp of olive oil (try a walnut oil, will add a ton of good flavor)
Parsley, chopped, for garnish
- Blend all together in blender or food processor, serve with pita chips.
Caprese & Pesto Toasts
Loaf of crusty bread (Baguette would work best), cut into slices
Fresh Mozzarella balls, sliced thinly
Bush loafs with a tiny bit of olive oil & toast at 350 for 5-8 minutes
Once toasted, brush with pesto, top with a slice of mozzarella & a halve of cherry tomato
Home made pesto
Handful of basil leafs, 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 2-3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, 2-3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts – blend in a food processor
Homemade pita chips
Pack of whole wheat tortilla wraps (the smaller ones)
1 tblsp of olive oil
Use a pizza cutter to slice into 4 pizza size slices – brush (lightly!) with olive oil. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, until crisp.
Guacamole Mouse with a pepper salsa
1 large has avocado
½ red onion
3-4 garlic cloves
Green pepper diced
Red pepper diced
Kernels from a corn on the cob, cut off
Put whole avocado, half of a lime (juice) 2 garlic cloves, 2-3 tablespoons of veggie broth in a blender – whip! Scrape into a bowl.
Sauté red onion in a bit of garlic for 3-5 minutes, add peppers & corn. Sauté for 5-8 minutes, until peppers are a bit soft. Put into a bowl & add tomatoes. Serve side by side with tortilla chips.
Summer Panzella salad
3 tomatoes cut into chunks
8 stalks of asparagus
2 tablespoons of capers
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1//2 loaf of bread (I’ve used sour dough in the past)
1 teaspoon Oregano & Italian seasonings
Cut bread into crouton sized pieces, toss in 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil & seasonings – bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Put into a bowl and cover – do not refrigerate.
Grill or broil asparagus – cut into ½ inch pieces
Put tomatoes, capers, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, balsamic, asparagus more of the seasonings in a big bowl. Mix together and put in the fridge.
Right before you serve, mix bread in with the wet mixture. Serve immediately.
White Pizza with Roasted Broccoli
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Truffle Oil
½ head of broccoli chopped
4-5 leaves of basil
1 cup of ricotta cheese
2-4 tablespoons of Romano cheese
Buy a pizza crust or frozen pizza dough – Sprouts has them in the freezer section
Toss broccoli in 2 tablespoons of oil and minced garlic – roast at 350 for 10-12 minutes, stir halfway through.
Roll out dough, brush with a bit of oil. Mix ricotta & Italian seasonings together then spread onto pizza crust. Mince basil, and sprinkle onto ricotta. Put broccoli mixture on top of the crust, sprinkle with Romano cheese & bake as directed. Slice into extremely thin slices (once cooled off) and serve.