It’s summertime, and the living is easy. Incentives for good times are higher, and friends become a little more available, whether they have the summer off or just remember when they did. With all the opportunities to host and fete your friends and family without spending your whole evening in the kitchen, here are a few simple appetizer-options to keep the good times going.
Anything served on a slice of bread is easy hand-food (and saves on dishwashing time, if not napkins).
If you find yourself without the time to get to the market, check your fridge- you may have some easily whipped up toasties waiting to be made. Slice a baguette or loaf, preheat your oven, and evaluate your options. Avocadoes on toasted bread with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, a squeeze of lime and a spice of your choice- I am fond of cayenne- are one way to go. Cheddar (or any cheese of your choosing) with garlic and rosemary is another. Sliced tomato with olive oil, sea salt and basil is a refreshing option, and don’t forget your fruits: stone fruit, such as nectarines or peaches, baked with a little cinnamon and almond butter make for a hearty snack. For a desert option, bake figs on top of goat cheese with a drop of honey.
Master the Art of the Platter.
There are no boundaries if you have the right serving trays; cheeses, fruits, olives, cornichons, crackers, meats if you are carnivorously-inclined, anything the heart desires can be displayed neatly and grazed on over the course of an evening.
Explore the ten-minutes-or-less vegetable side dish.
Both broccolini and asparagus can be cleaned, prepped, and served in under ten minutes: boil water in a wide pan, and add the washed and trimmed veggies. Let simmer for a few minutes, long enough to brighten the greens. Empty into a colander. Reuse the pan to heat olive oil and chili flakes, on low heat for another few minutes. Add the greens and any additions you crave- garlic, salt, herbs and spices, and sauté the veggies for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and plate. Serve with cutlery, but don’t be surprised if your guests use their hands (and ask for seconds).
These are a few of my favorite quick-tricks, what do you go to in a pinch?