Appetizers are the opening act for a fabulous dinner party. A great selection of appetizers can even be the main attraction and a sure-fire crowd pleasing favorite. Check out some of our favorite appetizer recipes that can be quickly tossed together with a minimum of ingredients and fuss. Some of these can be made ahead and frozen to save even more time.
Grilled pesto baguettes
1/2 of a 12 ounce baguette, cut horizontally in half
2 tablespoons refrigerated pesto
1/2 cup part-skim Ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
Turn grill to medium.
Brush cut side of baguette with pesto.
Combine ricotta and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
Place baguette on grill, cut sides down and cook 2 minutes or until toasted.
Transfer to a cutting board and spread Ricotta mixture on the grilled sides of the baguette.
Top with sun-dried tomatoes and serve after cutting into equal pieces.
Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts
1 pound bacon
2 cans (8 ounces each) whole water chestnuts
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
Drain water chestnuts and place in a small mixing bowl or zippered plastic bag.
Pour soy sauce and brown sugar mixture over chestnuts, adding water if needed to cover them.
Cover bowl or seal bag and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Drain chestnuts again and cut bacon slices in half or thirds to create 3-inch strips.
Wrap a strip of bacon around each chestnut, using toothpicks to secure.
Place wrapped chestnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Bake chestnuts until bacon is evenly browned and crisp; about 14 minutes.
1/2 cup diced jarred roasted red bell peppers
1/2 cup diced pitted green olives
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
2 diced scallions
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 pound white button mushrooms (cleaned and stemmed)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix the roasted bell peppers, olives, cheese, scallions, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Place mushrooms on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cavity side up.
Spoon filling into the cavity of the mushrooms.
Bake until mushrooms are tender; about 20 minutes.
Place mushrooms on serving platter and sprinkle with chopped basil.