A long time subscriber recently requested that we work on appetizer ideas for Super Bowl and entertaining. We set to work with the idea of tapas - or small plates - which are a tradition among many Mediterranean countries for meals. Small plates are easy and fun to make. And as we discovered in a party we gave, they generate a lot of interest and all vegetables consumed! Here is what we made (see the recipes on the preceding page and below):
Chips and salsa - if you are going to serve chips, it may as well be with salsa so more vegetables can be consumed. We chose to make a quick home-made salsa with nosalt- 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 and make at least 2 different small plates. By mixing them up and serving on a variety of small dishes they generated interest and can be placed around the room.
Pinwheels - we spread a flour tortilla with hummus and rolled it up with diced tomatoes in the center. Many more ideas came to mind - with peanut butter/fruit, black bean spread, feta/veggie and more being possibilities. Of course we served these with more tomatoes in the center for an accompaniment. You can make all of these options a day ahead of time and store covered in the refrigerator.
Apple and dried fruit platter - Apples are cored and cut in 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 are in a hurry, use apple wedges from the grocery store.
Home made salsa and chips - We made the salsa with no-saltadded canned tomatoes blended with a little hot pepper sauce. Serve with corn tortilla chips on a small colorful plate. You can also serve this lowsodium salsa with fresh veggies or warm rolled corn tortillas.
Vegetables with hummus - Mix hummus with some tomato paste for a nice red color. Place the hummus in a small cup and put in the center of a small colorful plate. Arrange a variety of fresh vegetables around the hummus. We chose celery, grape tomatoes and fresh broccoli.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world-famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. After a decade in food service for Hyatt Hotels, Judy launched Food and Health Communications to focus on flavor and health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude distinction from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Culinary Art, holds a master’s degree in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America, 2 art certificates from UC Berkeley Extension, and runs a food photography studio where her love is creating fun recipes.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science and Dietary Guidelines to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.