It's time for another reader request!
A long-time subscriber recently asked me for some new appetizer ideas for holiday entertaining and beyond.
This time, my inspiration was tapas.
Tapas, also known as small plates, are a tradition among many Mediterranean cultures. They're easy and fun to make, and -- as we discovered during a recent party -- they generate a lot of interest!
Here are some great ideas to get you started!
Chips and salsa - If you're going to serve chips, it may as well be with salsa so that people will eat more vegetables. We chose to make a quick salsa with no-salt- added tomatoes.
Fruit plate - Use a variety of fresh and dried fruit for color and texture variety.
A variety of dips and fresh veggie plates - Choose about 6 or 7 different veggies and 2 different dips, then make at least 2 different small plates. By mixing it up and serving everything on a variety of small dishes, this bounty generated interest and could be placed in several spots around the room.
Pinwheels - We spread a flour tortilla with hummus and rolled it up with diced tomatoes in the center. Once we'd made and served those, many more ideas came to mind! You could make pinwheels with peanut butter and fruit, black bean spread, feta and veggies, and more! You can make all of these options a day ahead of time and store them covered in the refrigerator.
Apple and dried fruit platter - With this one, apples are cored and cut into wedges. Serve fresh apple slices on a small colorful plate with a variety of dried fruits. Our choice for these dried fruits included: figs, cranberries and plums.
SPEED TIP: if you're in a hurry, use pre-sliced apple wedges from the grocery store.
Vegetables with hummus - Mix hummus with some tomato paste for a nice red color, then place the hummus in a small cup and put it in the center of a colorful plate. Arrange a variety of fresh vegetables around it and serve.
And that's just a few ideas that happened to work for us! What tapas will you serve at your next party?
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Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.