Appetisers

How To Make Italian Antipasti

A pre-dinner appetiser should be light, tasty and easy to prepare – even if you’re a beginner in the kitchen. Italian antipasti ticks all of these boxes and let’s face it, everyone loves a bit of Italian food.

RELATED: Make Your Own Cheese Platter

Try these yummy antipasti dishes which are appropriate as an appetiser, snack with drinks, or part of a three course meal at home.

Meat

A traditional dish is nothing without a side of meat, and this is usually salami, pepperoni and prosciutto.

Olives

Olives are a must-have if you want to break up all the heavy meat and bread on the dish. Olive tapenade, black kalamata olives and a side of hummus is always a popular choice.

Seafood

Experiment with a few different seafood styles such as smoked salmon strips, fresh tuna and sardines.

Fruit

Delicious melon and seasonal grapes taste amazing with cold meats.

Nuts

Salty nuts add a savoury side to the antipasto dish and complement any glass of red or white wine. Cashews, walnuts and roasted almonds are perfect for this dish.

Vegetables

Roast vegetables are another essential part of the antipasto dish because they are great with salty cheeses. Eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers and tomatoes are the best place to start.

Cheese

Finish off a traditional antipasti dish with a soft cheese such as camembert (bring it out last so it doesn’t melt), savoury cheese such as feta and Gouda.

Image via Honestly Yum

July 10, 2015

10 Quick and Easy Appetisers

Next time you’re throwing a dinner party, why not serve a few different appetisers instead of a main course? Not only are they quick and easy to prepare (seriously, each appetiser takes about 10 minutes), but they taste amazing and are so versatile!

RELATED: Clean Spaghetti Bolognese With Zucchini Noodles Recipe

Here is a few of our go-to appetisers which are appropriate for any type of occasion:

Spring garden salad

Try a classic spring salad featuring seasonal crunchy vegetables with a delicious dressing – perfect for the entire family. If you want to add a little extra texture to this salad, feel free to add some some asparagus and peas into the mix.

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Crostini

Who can resist a classic crostini? They’re bite-sized, easy to eat standing up and taste amazing! Experiment with some of your favourite toppings such as salmon, chicken, turkey and even vegetarian options.

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Prawn stir fry

Prepare a delicious prawn stir fry for your guests for lunch or even a late dinner. Make sure you don’t forget to add the soy sauce before serving, and add something sweet such as grapefruit or orange essence for a sweet taste.

3

Tomato, feta and green beans

A classic green bean salad is a standard dish for most households, especially during the warmer months of the year. To make sure your salad has a little extra crunch, add the green beans at the end and cook for only 3-5 minutes.

4

Zucchini ciabatta

Zucchini are so quick and easy to prepare, especially if time is not on your side! Drizzle the ciabatta bread with some olive oil and grill until golden brown.

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Vegetable frittatas

Combine the best of eggs, red onion, parsley, chives and basil into a fine paste, then grill into small patties. Cook until golden brown, then serve with fresh vegetables at room temperature.

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Red cabbage salad

There are few things which are healthier than a red cabbage salad, but we’re keeping things tasty here! For a light, tangy flavour, squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the top and add some of your favourite summer fruits into the recipe. We recommend sliced strawberries or red apples.

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Cucumber and avocado rolls

To really impress your guests, create this easy cucumber roll recipe featuring delicious avocado. Simply slice the cucumber, then add one tablespoon of mashed avocado into the centre.

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Prosciutto wrapped asparagus

For a quick appetiser to enjoy on-the-go, nothing beats this amazing prosciutto wrapped asparagus. Grill for just a few minutes, then drizzle some olive oil and lemon over the top.

9

Fig and cheese flatbread

Finally, we’re finishing up with this delicious flatbread. Buy it made, warm it over a hot pan, and add some sliced gorgonzola cheese, fig and drizzled honey over the top.

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Images via Sunset, Style and Cheek, Taste, J Bean Cuisine, BBC Good Food, Good To Know, The Perfect Pantry, Pure Ella, Eight Wild Boars

April 29, 2015

Traditional Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta Recipe

A traditional Italian bruschetta is undoubtedly an appetiser which everyone enjoys. The sweet taste of ripe tomatoes on a bed of crispy, baguette bread is always a good choice, and our recipe below certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Serve with a side of fresh salad and a crisp white or rosé wine to start off your evening.

RELATED: Italian Hazelnut Biscotti Recipe

Ingredients

1 baguette

2 cloves garlic

300g mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup black olives

3 ripe tomatoes (diced)

Basil leaves

Method

  1. Finely slice your baguette and cook in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and leave to cool.
  2. Slice the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a pan with garlic and olive oil, then marinate each side into the mixture.
  4. Slice the mozzarella and apply as the first layer on the baguette. Follow up with the diced tomato, chopped olives, sprinkle of olive oil, and finish with a leaf of basil.

Image via Ann Arbor

March 17, 2015

5 Seafood Recipes Under 15 Minutes

Most seafood dishes are quick and easy to prepare and don’t require any additional maintenance either. Prepare a healthy lunch snack or pre-dinner appetiser with fresh seafood and some crunchy veggies without spending half the morning in the kitchen! We share some of our quick and tasty seafood recipes which are perfect for even beginners.

RELATED: Seafood During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?

Oysters Rockefeller

Time: 15 minutes

A delicious appetiser containing creamed spinach, a few cloves of garlic, and that signature Mozzarella for premium body and taste. This is the perfect dish for those picky eaters, and is sure to be a crowd pleaser with guests.

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Cajun shrimp

Time: 10 minutes

Who does’t love a classic sweet and spicy dish with a side of crisp white wine? You only need some butter, cajun seasoning, parsley, and of course the shrimp to create a wholesome meal. Serve with a side of arborio rice, and crunchy vegetables as well.

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Shrimp ceviche

Time: 10 minutes

A gluten-free dish packed with crunchy green vegetables and avocado for a guilt-free meal which is deliciously healthy. For extra taste, allow the shrimp to marinate in the fridge overnight and serve with a side of fresh tortilla chips.

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Avocado and salmon rolls

Time: 15 minutes

If you cannot get enough of sushi, create your own at home with salmon, avocado, and cheese paste. Combine the cream cheese with freshly chopped chives, then mash in the avocado. Arrange the paste into each slice of salmon, and combine together with a toothpick before serving.

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Sardines with chilli and lime

Time: 10 minutes

A fresh salad dish inspired by the meals at Le Pain Quotidien which are savoury and sweet at the same time. Choose from a wide range of vegetables including celery, peppers, and parsley which make this meal perfect for those hot summer days.

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Image via Pepper.Ph, All She Cooks, Food 52, Complete Recipes, My Life Love Food

January 19, 2015

Healthy Grilled Prawn Skewers Recipe

A fresh and easy recipe which takes just minutes to prepare, and is packed with lots of flavour as a lunch-time or afternoon snack.

Pair with a delicious salad, and a glass of crisp white wine if you’re entertaining over the holidays with some friends.

RELATED: Prawn, Avocado And PawPaw Salad

Ingredients

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tbsp bottled hot sauce

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 clove garlic (minced)

1 pound raw prawns (peeled and deveined)

Wooden skewers

Method

  1. Place the wooden skewers in a container and fill with water. Let them soak for 30 minutes so the skewers don’t shed while you’re eating.
  2. Prepare the marinade in a small bowl by whisking together the olive oil, hot sauce, smoked paprika, and garlic.
  3. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel, then cover completely with the sauce. Place in the fridge to marinate for 15-30 minutes.
  4. Pierce the shrimp through the head and tail, and prepare the grill with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, and serve right away.

Image and Recipe via The Yummy Life

January 4, 2015

Make Your Own Cheese Platter

Who can resist a delicious cheese platter? If you’re entertaining at home, create this delicious platter which is simple and oh-so-tasty for any type of weather we’re experiencing. Plus, it’s really not as complicated as you think!

Serve with deep-red wine such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon which are beautiful when paired with fruit and cheese.

RELATED: Tomato, Kale, and Feta Baked Eggs

Cheese

Pick 4 main cheese varieties which will serve as the foundation of the entire platter. It’s important to have soft, semi-soft, semi-hard, and finally hard cheeses which all work beautifully together – especially when paired with a hearty glass of red wine.

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Bread

Bread is so crucial when creating a yummy cheese platter. It’s important to choose a variety which isn’t too overpowering (or filling), and compliments the cheese and other extras. Don’t choose bread which has been infused with olives and cheese – this is way too much! Less is always more, so choose crusty bread or crackers instead.

Extras

Here you can experiment with almost any extras such as olives, sweet jam sauce, crunch nuts, and even cold cuts. Fruit is also a popular choice since it brings a level of sweetness to the entire palette, so red grapes and green apples should always be sliced neatly on the side.

Images via Cupcakes and Cashmere, Honestly Yum

December 20, 2014

Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Indulge in this classic Mediterranean dish featuring fresh ricotta in a bed of delicious zucchini flowers. If you’re serving this dish as an appetiser, make sure to keep the red wine flowing, especially something full of flavour like a peppery Merlot.

RELATED: Raw Zucchini Salad Recipe

Ingredients

12 zucchini blossoms

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 large egg

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 clove of garlic (minced)

4 fresh sweet basil leaves

3/4 tsp of sea salt

2/3 cup and 1/8 cup of all-purpose flour

1 cup of soda water

1.5 cups of vegetable or canola oil

Method

  1. Combine the ricotta, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, chopped basil, egg, and sea salt into a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Once the cheese is smooth, place it into a piping bag or even a freezer bag.
  3. Slice the stems off the flowers, and gently use water and a paper towel to clean them if necessary.
  4. Slice each of the zucchini’s into strips, but make sure to keep the head attached! In another bowl, combine the soda water and flour – whisk together until the mixture has developed some froth. Set aside.
  5. Carefully open the petals of each zucchini, and remove the centre with a pair of scissors. Using the piping bag (or freezer bag), empty 2 tablespoons of the filling into each flower. Twist each of the petals to close the flower.
  6. Dip each flower into the batter, then either roast in the oven, or fry over medium heat in a lightly oiled pan. Remove when the flowers begin to turn golden brown.

Recipe and Image via All Things Nice, Williams Sonoma

December 15, 2014

Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Bites

Create a delicious afternoon snack or appetiser by combining healthy salmon and cucumber into bite-sized pieces.

Not only does this recipe take less than 5 minutes to prepare and serve, but it’s also really healthy for the entire family! Serve with your favourite cheese and fresh dill for a truly unique flavour.

RELATED: Easy Foil-Baked Salmon Recipe

Makes 10

Ingredients

3 ounces smoked salmon

1 small bunch fresh dill

4 ounces cream cheese (or any other cheese you prefer)

1/2 cucumber

Method

  1. Wash, dry, then slice the cucumber into 10 slices. Lay them out onto a large dish, then place some dill to make the first layer.
  2. Cut your cheese and place it over the dill – it should be nice and thick if you want some body on each cucumber. If you’re using cheese from a tub, spread a generous amount over the dill.
  3. Finish with 2-3 pieces of smoked salmon. Sprinkle some fresh black pepper over the top for extra flavour.

Image and Recipe via The Pescetarian and The Pig

December 14, 2014