IRRESISTIBLE NIBBLES FOR EVERY OCCASION
by Joanna White
EGGPLANT ANTIPASTO (CAPONATA) Makes 6 cups
Serve this fresh vegetable spread hot or cold with rounds of crusty French bread. It can also be used as a vegetable side dish.
|1||medium eggplant, peeled and diced|
|1/4 cup||olive oil|
|1||medium zucchini, diced|
|1||large onion, diced|
|3 cloves||garlic, minced|
|1/2 cup||diced celery|
|1||large carrot, diced|
|1||green bell pepper, seeded and diced|
|1 1/2 cups||chopped tomatoes, drained|
|3 tbs.||tomato paste|
|1/4 cup||chopped fresh parsley|
|1/2 tsp.||dried basil|
|1/4 cup||red wine vinegar|
|1/4 cup||chopped stuffed green olives|
|1/4 cup||chopped pitted black olives|
|2 tbs.||coarsely chopped capers|
|salt and pepper to taste|
Place eggplant in a colander and sprinkle lightly with salt; let stand for about 30 minutes until some of the moisture has drained off. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté eggplant zucchini and until lightly browned. Stir in onion, garlic, celery and carrot and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for about 1 hour. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot or cold.
SPINACH-STUFFED MUSHROOMS Servings: 8-12
Squeeze the spinach very dry. Otherwise, the filling leaches too much liquid and the appetizer is too messy to handle.
|1/4 cup||minced onion|
|1 cup||chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed very dry|
|1/2 cup||low-fat ricotta cheese|
|1/4 cup||grated Parmesan cheese|
|salt and pepper to taste|
|nutmeg to taste|
|1 lb.||medium white or brown mushrooms|
Heat oven to 350°. In a skillet, heat butter over medium heat and sauté onion until limp. Add spinach, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg; taste and adjust seasonings. Cut stems from mushrooms at base of caps. Reserve mushroom stems for another use or discard. Place mushrooms cap-side down on a baking sheet and fill each cap with a small mound of filling. Bake for about 20 minutes. Serve hot in a chafing dish, or in a baking dish set on an electric warming tray.
MARINATED ASPARAGUS Servings: 8-10
If desired, this brine can be used for cauliflower or broccoli.
|3 lb.||fresh asparagus, tough ends removed|
|3/4 cup||cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar|
|1 tbs.||dried dill weed|
|2 cloves||garlic, minced|
|1 1/2 cups||chicken stock or vegetable stock|
Cut asparagus into bite-sized pieces and place in a shallow pan. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over asparagus. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning occasionally. Drain before serving. Provide toothpicks for serving.
LOW-FAT CUCUMBER DIP Makes 4 cups
This refreshing dip goes well with vegetables or crackers.
|1||medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and seeded|
|1/3 cup||low-fat or nonfat cottage cheese|
|1 cup||plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt|
|1 tbs.||chopped fresh parsley|
|1/2 tsp.||dried dill weed, or more to taste|
|1/4 tsp.||white pepper, or more to taste|
With a food processor or box grater, shred cucumber. Place cucumber shreds in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let stand over the sink for 30 minutes. Remove cucumber from colander and squeeze dry with paper towels. Process remaining ingredients with a food processor or blender until smooth. Stir in cucumber, taste and adjust seasonings. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
From Party Fare: Irresistible Nibbles for Every Occasion, by Joanna White. Copyright ©1998 by Bristol Publishing Enterprises, Inc. Excerpted by arrangement Bristol Publishing Enterprises, Inc. $8.95. Available in local bookstores, or call 800-346-4889, or click here.