Friday, October 1, 2010

Entertaining/Easy Appetisers

Veggie Sticks with Avocado-Lime Dip

Bring about 1 qt. water to a boil in a medium pot. Add 1/2 lb. trimmed green beans and cook until tender to the bite, 3 to 6 minutes. Drain and immerse immediately in ice water until cool, about 2 minutes; drain again.

In a blender or food processor, combine 1 firm-ripe pitted and peeled avocado, 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt, 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1 tbsp. loosely packed fresh mint leaves, 1 peeled garlic clove, and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt; whirl until very smooth.

Serve dip with green beans and 1/2 lb. jicama cut into 1/2-in.-thick sticks.
Makes: 1 cup
Time: 30 minutes

Garlicky White Bean Dip

In a food processor, whirl 1 or 2 peeled garlic cloves until finely chopped. Scrape down bowl and add 2 cans (15 oz. each) drained and rinsed white beans, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp. finely shredded fresh lemon zest, and 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice. Whirl until smooth.

Transfer dip to a small bowl. Stir in 1 tbsp. very finely chopped fresh oregano leaves, then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with assorted fresh vegetables or pita bread.
Makes: 2¼ cups 
Time: 10 minutes

Rustic Grape Appetizer

Roast a 1-lb. bunch of grapes on a baking sheet in a 350° oven, turning occasionally, until caramelized, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve with a hunk of your favorite blue cheese.

Makes: 8 servings
Time: 45 minutes

Dates with Bacon

Cut 6 strips thin-sliced bacon crosswise into 4-in. lengths. Wrap each of 18 pitted Medjool dates snugly with a piece of bacon, overlapping ends.

Set dates, seam sides down, in a 10- to 12-in. nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Turn dates occasionally until bacon is browned and crisp on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes total.

Drain on paper towels and serve warm or cool.

Makes: 18
Time: 25 minutes via

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