According to author and recipe tester extraordinaire Amanda Hesser, this cheese ball was introduced in 2003, when the classic appetizer had moved out of the mainstream and into the world of the deliciously ironic. Cream cheese and goat cheese are whipped together with a whole slew of bright, thrilling flavors: lemon zest, cumin, coriander, fresh mint, and thinly sliced celery hearts.
'holiday appetizers' on Serious Eats
The best part about this recipe is the addition of clam. Largely sustainable and virtually fat-free, it's an interesting twist on what can occasionally be a fairly staid recipe. Buying a more upscale brand will only help the flavor of your dish, as some find bargain-basement clams to be a little tough and perhaps even a tad tasteless.
This crostini, topped with pureed acorn squash, savory bits of bacon, and crispy sage, may seem fancy, but it's really easy and cheap.
White Bean Bruschetta is classy without being fussy, and, thanks its bean-and-vegetable topping, pretty healthy for a passed appetizer. Plus, it doesn't make too much of a mess, which is always helpful.
Far be it from me to argue with a curried pumpkin soup, or a pumpkin soup with pancetta, or a pumpkin soup with dancing croutons. I love those guys, I really do. What they aren't, though—what they'll never be—is the good old classic pumpkin soup that got us all hooked on pumpkin soup in the first place. Nope, they aren't The One. But this is.
Enter Provencal Deviled Eggs from Cooking Light. Filled with bits of olive, caper, sun-dried tomato, Dijon, and various herbs, it's a fabulously briny, lighter twist on the classic appetizer.
Not only are these breadsticks crisp, they're filled with seeds that add even more texture. And since these are dry crispy breadsticks, you can make them ahead of time and they'll last for a long time.
Roasted Pepper Halves with Bread Crumb Topping, from Lidia Bastianich's Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen, is simple to prepare, yet impressive enough to elevate the most pedestrian of meals, up to and including a cold slice of pepperoni pie. The peppers act as both flavoring agent and serving vessel, making it lighter than most breaded hors d'oeuvres.
Franny's take on modern Italian begins with a great selection of appetizers including incredibly rich Chicken Liver Crostini. By adding capers, anchovies, rosemary, and sage to the browned livers the pâté takes on an incredible depth of flavor. And while the pâté could happily be spread on slices of rustic bread, at Franny's they up the ante by adding a smear of mayo and a crisp slice of pancetta.
This is a seriously simply appetizer recipe. Feel free to jazz it up by topping with a few sliced figs, olives, or (if you're feeling fancy) shaved truffles. If you can't find sheep's milk ricotta, use the best cow's-milk ricotta...
Although in theory this dip should serve six, I find that people get a little strange around artichoke dip. They elbow each other out of the way and scoop a little too much onto their bread. Be ye warned, you...
[Photograph: Strange Ones on Flickr] Mussels are one of those things that people don't make often enough. They are one of the most simple at-home seafood preparations, virtually foolproof since they let you know the exact second they're finished. These...
Note: Michael Natkin of the vegetarian blog Herbivoracious drops by every Wednesday to share a delicious recipe and expand our vegetarian repertoire. [Photograph: Michael Natkin] More Vegetarian Party Foods Keftes De Prasa (Leek Fritters)TahinaSpinach and Cannellini Bean DipDevilishly Handsome Eggs...