After a Thanksgiving weekend of baked, roasted, buttery and creamy meals (can you say rich?) I was craving bright bites that did not require that I crank up the oven each time. They are easy to assemble, and would be lovely for a holiday cocktail party, office party, or savored by yourself at the end of a long work day in your robe and slippers, wine in hand. Oops, now you know what I do come winter time…
And did I mention these are low carb? Actually healthy? Yes, you could spoon the olive marinade onto crostini. Or you could just take a stab at the explosively tasty bits with a toothpick. The smoked salmon cucumber bites are super fresh, and just like the olives, could be served on crostini. But here the cucumber serves as the necessary vehicle to your open mouth. I adore parmesan crisps for their crunch. 609 in Joplin is the only restaurant in town that serves them, usually accompanying a salad. But I ask for a plate of them on the side to serve as my appetizer. Delish!
Here’s the bottom line: these bites are so tasty you won’t desire to shove the whole bowl or plate of them into your mouth, like you would with jarred salsa and boring chips or generic cubed cheese. Your palate will be satisfied, and you can snack confidently knowing you’re well into the holiday season without blowing a whole day of calories in one sitting. I’m including these recipes and many more awesome bites in my holiday platters for customers. Let me know if you’d like me to deliver these to you and yours. Better yet, try these at home!
Treat yourself with great bites, and eat well.
Serves 8 to 10
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
4 ounces crumbled feta
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
Zest of 1/2 lemon, peeled in long strips
Juice of half lemon
1 cup Spanish olives, pitted
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1/4 cup chopped salami
Add the olive oil and sherry vinegar to a small bowl and whisk. Add the feta, garlic, rosemary, bay leaf, lemon juice, zest and peel to a large bowl, pour over the marinade and then toss. Add the olives, stirring to make sure they are covered in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Before serving, drain off any excess liquid. Add the chopped salami, toss and serve. Use a toothpick to stab and eat.
Makes 8 to 10 crisps
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
Who Needs the Bagel seasoning
Preheat oven to 400. Pour a heaping tablespoon of Parmesan onto a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet and lightly pat down. Sprinkle with seasoning lightly. Repeat with remaining cheese, spacing spoonfuls about a half inch apart. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Cool.
Smoked salmon cucumber bites
Serves 12 (one bite per person)
1/2 large cucumber, sliced
Twelve small pieces of smoked salmon
1/2 cup sour cream
One teaspoon chopped capers
1/4 teaspoon Who Needs the Bagel seasoning
Sprinkle fresh chopped rosemary
Squeeze lemon juice
Sprinkle crispy onions (optional)
Slice cucumbers with a knife or mandolin. Add sour cream, capers, seasonings, and lemon juice to a bowl; stir. Add a dollop to each cucumber. Gently fold salmon onto sour cream. Sprinkle with more Bagel seasoning and top with optional crispy onions. Chill and serve.