Fuss-Free Festive Appetizers
● By Ryan Frisch
Whether you've planned a gathering with loved ones, or friends and family drop by for some impromptu celebrating, the holiday season is filled with festive entertaining. Having a ready supply of snacks and finger foods will let you spend more time enjoying your guests and less time fussing in the kitchen.
One simple way to ensure you have plenty of crowd-pleasing appetizers on hand is to stock up on versatile basics that you can serve in a variety of ways.
Pickles and olives. Few appetizers are as easy to prepare as a simple relish tray. Use a divided serving platter and mix and match flavors for a snack that is as pleasing to the eye as it is the palate. The same ingredients can help transform a ho-hum sandwich into something special.
Hummus. Set out a dish of hummus and pita wedges or crackers for an instant treat. Or use hummus in simple recipes for quick, tasty finger foods. Sabra offers a dozen varieties of hummus including Roasted Red Pepper and Tuscan Herb that let you offer a better-for-you snack option with next to no time in the kitchen.
Cheese. Keep a selection of cheeses on hand, including chunks, shreds and cream cheese in a variety of flavors that can be served alone, as part of a finger food tray or in countless cold and warm appetizer recipes.
Salsa. Served simply with chips or crackers, or blended with cheeses or other ingredients for a more elaborate dish, salsa is a staple for entertaining. Sabra salsas are available in a range of flavors, each with a crisp, chunky flavor that works well alone or as an ingredient.
Beyond a well-stocked refrigerator, you need a few go-to recipes that will earn rave reviews and can be prepared quickly for those drop-in guests. Both of these recipes are served savory and warm and take just minutes to make.
Find more easy appetizers for your holiday entertaining at www.sabra.com.
- 1 cup Sabra Hummus, any flavor
- 3 large soft tortillas
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red pepper
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced cantaloupe
- 4 leaves lettuce
- Spread thin layer of hummus on both tortillas.
- Divide remaining ingredients between tortillas.
- Roll tightly and secure with toothpicks.
- Slice into pinwheels and serve.
Ravioli and Red Pepper Coulis
- 12 wonton wrappers
- 4 tablespoons Sabra Hummus
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Zaatar spice and sea salt to taste
Red pepper coulis:
- 4 medium red bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- To make ravioli, place wontons on large baking sheet with parchment paper and drop 1 teaspoon of hummus in center of each square.
- Fill bowl with water. Wet finger with water and trace half the edge of wonton square. Fold in half and seal, pressing both sides firmly together.
- In nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Saute raviolis on both sides until crisp. Cool on drying rack.
- Sprinkle Zaatar spice and sea salt on both sides.
- To make red pepper coulis, roast whole peppers over an open flame or under broiler, turning occasionally, until blackened all over.
- Transfer to bowl and let cool.
- Peel and discard skins, seeds and cores. Chop and add to food processor along with olive oil and vinegar. Puree and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Serve as dip for ravioli.