Appetizer trays

Crudités are traditional French appetizers consisting of sliced or whole raw vegetables which are sometimes dipped in a vinaigrette or other dipping sauce.

simple veggie plate

I’m a firm believer in having something for my guests to drink and snack on when they arrive at my home.  By keeping a few key ingredients on hand it is easy to throw together an appetizer or crudité platter.  I really believe that the key is to keep them simple and easy to eat from a small plate or with only your fingers.  I don’t like appetizers that need a utensil.

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I like a mix of crunchy, salty and sweet.  You can’t go wrong with cheese and crackers.  I’ve added olives for salty and pineapple for sweet.  Grape tomatoes are a go-to ingredient for me in so many dishes, great sweet flavor and a pretty color.

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Fresh fruit is always in season when it comes to appetizers, beautiful and colorful.  Some fresh mint for garnish is an easy touch.

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These are English cucumbers filled with Tzatziki; a Greek yogurt and cucumber dip.  I peel the cucumber with a vegetable peeler to make the stripes.  Slice the cucumbers into rounds approximately 2 inches thick.  Carefully scoop out the center seed portion of the sliced cucumbers with a teaspoon measure making sure to keep the bottom intact so the filling doesn’t come out.  Paprika and chopped green onions garnish the tops.

Tzatziki Dip Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I grate the cloves on a microplane)
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, strained (this takes around 3 hours so prep this before making the rest of the dip)
  • 1 cup sour cream (I use light)
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried dill week, amount can be adjusted before serving if more is desired)

Directions:

Prep – Place the yogurt in a cheesecloth or paper towel-lined mesh strainer and set it over a bowl to drain in the refrigerator for 3 hours.  Combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Mix until well combined.  Using a wire whisk, blend the yogurt with the sour cream.  Add the olive oil mixture to the yogurt mixture and mix well.  Finally, add the cucumber and chopped fresh dill.  Chill for at least two hours before serving.  I feel the longer it sits, the better the flavor.  Serve in the cucumber “bowls” above or with pita wedges or pita chips.  This is also a good dipping sauce for grilled meat.

roasted-garlic-hummus[1]Hummus is definitely my favorite appetizer, so easy and so yummy.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…my food soul is Mediterranean!  I’m currently working on getting my hummus onto the blog.  There have been requests and please know I’m working on getting the measurements accurate so you will be able to re-create it.  Truth be known, I’ve never made hummus from a recipe.  I just dump all the ingredients into the food processor and have never actually measured it out.  It is coming, I promise.

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Remember, simple and delicious is all you need for great appetizers, stick to the basics and your guests will love it!

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