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Scoop-and-eat appetizers.

For relaxed entertaining, flavorful mixtures to scoop up and eat are among the most easily managed appetizers. They can be ready on call and require no last-minute assembly or individual touches. Each of these five appetizers is so simple to make, you can whip it up in minutes. All of them can wait up to a day in the refrigerator. If served chilled, they stay fresh at least 3 hours.

All can be served from bowls, but the carrot hummus (a wholesome and colorful variation on traditional hummus) and the two cheeses are firm enough to swirl into mounds and present on handsome platters, surrounded by their accompaniments. Look for tahini (ground sesame paste) for hummus with fancy foods in the supermarket.

Carrot Hummus

1 1/4 pounds (5 large) carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cans (15 1/2 oz. each) garbanzos, drained

2/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste) 3 cloves garlic

2/3 cup lemon juice Salt Baby carrot (optional) Toasted pocket bread or crackers

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine carrots and 3 cups water. Cover; bring to a boil. Simmer until carrots mash easily, 15 to 20 minutes; stir occasionally. Drain.

In a food processor, whirl carrots, garbanzos, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice until smoothly pureed (or rub through a food mill). Add salt to taste. Serve, or cover and chill up to a day. Mound into a bowl; top with baby carrot. Scoop onto pocket bread. Makes 5 cups, 20 servings. Per 1/4 cup: 114 cal.; 3.9 g protein; 4.9 g fat (0.7 g sat.); 15 g carbo.; 151 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Pool party appetizers (page 128) include toasted pocket bread for scooping tropical salsa, egg salad, carrot hummus (in triangle dishes).

Dilled Egg Salad

10 hard-cooked large eggs, shelled and mashed

1/2 cup unflavored nonfat yogurt, light sour cream, or sour cream

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed

2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Salt Fresh dill sprigs Toasted pocket bread

In a bowl, stir together eggs, yogurt, lemon juice, dill, horseradish, Worcestershire, and salt to taste. Serve, or chill airtight up to a day. Mound in a bowl and garnish with dill sprigs. Scoop onto toasted pocket bread. Makes about 2 1/2 cups, 20 servings. Per tablespoon: 21 cal.; 1.7 g protein; 1.3 g fat (0.4 g sat.); 0.4 g carbo.; 19 mg sodium; 53 mg chol.

Tropical Salsa

Scoop onto taro or plantain chips, or blue or yellow corn tortilla chips; you'll need at least 4 cups.

2 medium-size (about 2 1/4 lb. total) firm-ripe papayas

1 medium-size (about 3/4 lb.) ripe mango

1 large (about 10 oz.) firm-ripe avocado

2 small fresh serrano chilies (or 1 jalapeno), stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel

1/4 cup lime juice 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) Salt

Peel and seed papayas. Peel and pit mango. Peel and pit avocado. Cut all fruit into about 1/4-inch dice. Mix gently in bowl with chillies, lime peel, lime juice, cilantro, and salt to taste. Serve or, if made ahead, cover and chill up to a day. To eat, scoop onto chips. Makes 5 cups, 20 servings. Per 1/4 cup: 84 cal.; 1.1 g protein; 3.9 g fat (0.3 g sat.); 13 g carbo.; 65 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Red Bell Cheese

1 jar (about 7 oz., or 3/4 cup) roasted red bell peppers or pimientos, patted dry

3 packages (about 4 oz. each) herb-seasoned cheese such as boursin or rondele About 1 pound Belgian endive

2 tablespoons minced parsley

In a food processor or blender, smoothly puree peppers. Whirl or stir in the cheese. Mound cheese on a platter. Serve, or cover and chill up to 2 days.

Rinse endive; trim off discolored leaves and stem ends. If prepared ahead, wrap in towels, enclose in a plastic bag, and chill up to 2 days. Cut stem ends to release leaves, separating endive; arrange leaves, pointed ends out, on a platter beside cheese. Sprinkle with parsley. Makes 1 3/4 cups cheese, 10 servings. Per tablespoon: 42 cal.; 1.5 g protein; 3.5 g fat (0 g sat.); 1.6 g carbo.; 48 mg sodium; 12 mg chol.

Green Herb Cheese and Tamatoes

1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup packed fresh dill

4 packages (about 4 oz. each) black pepper-flavored cheese such as boursin or rondele

3/4 cup (4 oz.) drained oil-packed dried tomatoes, chopped Additional dried tomatoes, drained if oil-packed Additional fresh basil leaves Cracker bread

In a food processor or blender, whirl basil and dill with cheese to puree smoothly; push cheese frequently from container side down into blades. Stir chopped tomatoes into cheese mixture. Serve, or chill airtight up to a day.

Shape cheese into a mound on a platter. Surround with additional tomatoes and garnish with remaining basil. Spread cheese onto crackers; add tomato pieces. Makes about 2 cups cheese, 10 to 12 servings. Per tablespoon: 59 cal.; 1.7 g protein; 5.2 g fat (0.2 g sat.); 1.8 g carbo.; 139 mg sodium; 14 mg chol.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Summer Entertaining; recipes
Author:Lipman, Karyn I.
Date:Jun 1, 1992
Previous Article:Party arches ... blooming.
Next Article:Summer party to enjoy at our own pace.

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