Tag: appetizers

Grilled Eggplant Caponata Bruschetta With Ricotta Salata — The Weekender

by in Recipes, September 21st, 2012

grilled eggplant caponata bruschetta with ricotta salata
As much as I hate to admit it, the summer season is rapidly winding down. I managed to snag one last pint of raspberries last week and my favorite peach farmer told me that he’s nearly done with his harvest. The corn is almost gone and I’m starting to see my markets filling up with hardy winter squash and long stems of Brussels sprouts. Such is the cycle.

Last week in an attempt to ward off the effects of autumn for just a little bit longer, I went to the market and filled my bags with Roma tomatoes, glowing purple eggplants and as many Italian prune plums as I could carry.

The plums went into a batch of oven-roasted plum butter (it is so good on toast come January). Most of the tomatoes and eggplant became my husband’s yearly batch of eggplant Parmesan (it’s incredibly labor intensive, but so delicious), but after he filled a massive baking pan, there was still one giant eggplant and a smattering of tomatoes to be used.

And so I made caponata. Bobby Flay’s Grilled Eggplant Caponata Bruschetta With Ricotta Salata, to be precise. This is just the sort of recipe that uses up massive eggplants and wilting tomatoes with ease. It is terrific eaten on crackers, is good straight from the fridge or at room temperature and helps me pretend that I still have a few weeks of summer left. In my book, that makes it just the thing for The Weekender.

Before you start your grill, read these tips

Appetizers for Summer Entertaining — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, July 30th, 2012


Though back-to-school commercials are already flashing on our television screens and Halloween candy has somehow landed on store shelves, there’s still plenty of summer left to be enjoyed and more than enough time to plan a summer party. Whether you’re hosting a casual cookout for friends and family or organizing a neighborhood-wide barbecue, you’ll want to serve a selection of easy-to-eat appetizers and pre-dinner snacks at your get-together. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite party-perfect appetizers below, and serve them up at your next backyard bash. 

Instead of reaching for tired carrots and ranch dressing, prepare a platter of Food Network Magazine‘s Crudite With Infused Olive Oil and Balsamic (pictured above). A fancy name for raw vegetables that have been cut for simple munching, crudités make the ultimate party appetizer since they involve zero cooking. They can be served with straight-from-the-bottle olive oil and vinegar, though this recipe takes those classic pairings one step further by infusing the oil and balsamic. Over low heat, fragrant fresh herbs and garlic are steeped in olive oil, while brown sugar, red pepper flakes and light citrus zest are warmed in balsamic. Once cool, serve both the olive oil and vinegar in shallow bowls for easy, delicious dunking.

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Forkless Finger Foods

by in Entertaining, July 23rd, 2012

asian chicken skewers
Now that we’re in the thick of summer, the July Fourth party is a mere Facebook album and the days just keep getting hotter and hotter. All the while, summertime barbecue season remains in full swing. Grills are still fired up each weekend, drinks are still being poured and guests are still flowing on in. In the spirit of keeping things fresh this summer, a fleet of appetizers is going completely silverware-free, leaving the fork, spoon and knife behind.

Why go without utensils, you ask? Is it our snack-time nostalgia? Our back-to-nature sensibilities? Our last, desperate push at preventing a sink full of dishes? Well, sure, but there’s more to it than that. Fork-free appetizers are both inventive and practical, bearing the power to impress guests from the get-go with their quirky looks and hand-held feel. In the same way that you and your pals opt for the pretty bottle of hand soap at the store (it’s just so sleek), it’s all about packaging when it comes to social summertime dining. When they reach for Crab Cocktail Americana, the only thing swaddling the crustacean will be a delicate “bowl” made of Bibb lettuce. When they move on in for their chicken fix, they’ll grab it by the stick with the char-grilled Asian Chicken Skewers.

Looking for more silverware-free apps? Shimmy on over to Food Network’s Summer Entertaining Guide for more party-ready appetizers and easy summer party recipes.

Easy Appetizers for Spring Entertaining

by in Entertaining, Recipes, May 18th, 2012


Appetizers. Hors d’oeuvres. Starters. Nibbles. Snacks. Whatever you call pre-dinner eats, you can be sure that they will make a meal, offering your dinner guests early tastes and textures and a sneak peek of what’s to come in the later courses. As the spring season winds down, invite friends and family over to celebrate the warmer weather and serve a simple, quick-to-prepare spread of first-course munchies. Food Network’s no-fuss appetizers below are ideal for relaxed, casual entertaining, and include charred lemon-scented shrimp, velvety deviled eggs and bacon-wrapped veggies. Check out our recipe selections and tell us what you’re cooking up this weekend. 

Robert Irvine’s Antipasto Platter With Grilled Vegetables (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine is a go-to pre-dinner pick when you’re pressed for time or if guests stop by unexpectedly. This tray can be customized to any size party or taste preference, though some staple snacks include a mixture of hard and soft cheeses, buttery prosciutto, fresh vegetables, crusty bread and more.

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Easy Appetizers — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, March 26th, 2012


A no-fuss appetizer that dresses up any get-together, crostini are two-bite toasts that can be topped with any number of creative or classic ingredients, such as rich cheeses, sweet roasted vegetables, olives and more. In just 10 minutes, you can prepare Food Network Magazine’s Asparagus Crostini (pictured above), which features toasted baguette slices spread with creamy ricotta cheese and finished with vibrant asparagus and fruity olive oil.

To complete your pre-dinner snack spread, serve Sandra’s Sun-Dried Tomato Artichoke Buttons, made by topping artichoke bottoms with soft roasted tomatoes, a mini mozzarella ball and pesto, or Alton’s Citrus Marinated Olives from Food Network Magazine. He submerges green olives in a lemon juice-red wine vinegar mixture with spicy red pepper flakes then refrigerates them before serving.

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

Best 5 Super Bowl Recipes

by in Recipes, February 4th, 2012

What’s the Super Bowl if you don’t have snacks to munch on during it? This Sunday, instead of ordering delivery pizza or resorting to frozen chicken wings, serve up a super spread of touchdown-worthy eats at your Big-Game Bash. Our top five Super Bowl recipes below are quick-to-prepare, traditional dishes that are sure to win points with your team of friends.

5. Guacamole — Alton adds a hint of heat to his classic guacamole with a pinch of cayenne.

4. Hot Crab Dip — Dunk crackers or toasted pita bread into this rich, cheesy dip, featuring lump crabmeat, sweet roasted garlic and Worcestershire sauce.

Get the top three recipes »

A Holiday Cocktail Party

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 9th, 2011

Nothing brings people together around the holidays quite like good food and drinks. Whether you’re hosting a Saturday night cocktail party, an after-work soiree or a casual get-together with your friends, a few festive cocktails, bite-sized snacks and good cheer are all you need to ensure your gathering goes off without a hitch. Food Network Magazine caught up with Chopped host Ted Allen and asked him what makes his Holiday Happy Hour such a success.

Instead of sweating it out over the stove, Ted suggests making simple dishes that can be cooked in the oven instead. “And serve a few dishes that work at room temperature. You’ll spend less time in the kitchen and more time eating and drinking with your friends,” he says. As for drinks, Ted prefers crimson-colored Due Campari Nuovo cocktails from Food Network Magazine, complete with bubbly prosecco and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Secrets to his holiday entertaining »

Flatbread With Bacon and Scallion Pesto — Recipe of the Day

by in Recipes, November 30th, 2011

flatbread with bacon and scallion pesto
Alex uses frozen pizza dough as the base for this upscale appetizer. Top with crème fraiche, briny caper-scallion pesto and crispy bacon.

Get the recipe: Flatbread With Bacon and Scallion Pesto

Browse more of Food Network’s easy and elegant appetizer recipes for the holidays.

Best 5 Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 22nd, 2011

southern deviled eggs
Appetizers on Thanksgiving can be tricky to manage. After all, you want to serve your guests a few snacks but nothing that may fill them up or detract from the main meal. To solve your appetizer apprehensions, check out Food Network’s top five pre-Thanksgiving dinner recipes below for no-fuss appetizers that will pair perfectly with the bird.

5. Onion Dip from Scratch — Alton uses a combination of sour cream and mayonnaise to make his tangy dip, featuring fresh onions and a dash of garlic powder.

4. Crispy Smoked Mozzarella With Honey and Figs — Giada uses store-bought phyllo dough to save time when making these light and airy eats, which are stuffed with a smoky mozzarella, quickly deep fried and drizzled with a honey-fig sauce.

Get the top three recipes »

Thanksgiving Appetizers — Simple Soirées

by in Holidays, November 21st, 2011

fried ravioli
Thanksgiving is by far one of my favorite holidays of the year. Not only because it’s all about food, which is clearly something I am very passionate about, but because it’s a great time to throw a fabulous party with your friends and family. In fact, this year I am throwing two Thanksgiving soirées, one with my friends from Los Angeles a week before Thanksgiving (aka Friendsgiving), and one for my family up in Seattle on the actual holiday.

For me, the key to throwing a great party is wowing your guests with a memorable food and drink experience. That means introducing them to a new ingredient or an inventive way to cook something. I’m a big believer in getting food into people’s hands shortly after they arrive to a party, especially if you’re having guests that might not know one another. It gives them something to do and a common ground to get the conversation going.

For Thanksgiving, most people come to expect the traditional appetizers like Baked Brie or Spinach Artichoke Dip, but this year, try something different. One of my favorite simple appetizer ideas, Fried Ravioli, comes from Giada and they really get the party started. These cheese-stuffed ravioli served with a side of warm marinara sauce are always a crowd-pleaser for adults and kids alike. Make sure to make a double or triple batch if there are a handful of kids — I can guarantee that they are going to go nuts over these fried bites of pasta.

Put your own personal spin on it »