Around the holidays, we like to keep things warm, casual, and welcoming. No one likes a stressed host! Let your guests nosh on easy finger foods and skip the fussy hors d’oeuvres. Whether you’re whipping up a large spread of delicious appetizers for your own holiday party, or looking for an easy recipe to bring to a family gathering, you’ll find plenty of fast and delicious ideas right here and in our stores.
Hummus is always a crowd-pleaser, and with a few extra-special touches, you can make a store-bought version look like it was made from scratch. Start with a container of your favorite hummus. We love Majestic Sprouted, Hope, Lilly’s, and Oasis brands.
Scoop into a beautiful bowl or platter and use a spoon to swirl deep divots into it. Drizzle with high-quality extra virgin olive oil such as California Olive Ranch. Then, add toppings:
- Chopped fresh herbs such as parsley and chives
- Toasted pine nuts
- Toasted chickpeas Try this recipe.
- Tapenade See recipe, below!
- Sundried tomatoes from Mediterranean Organics, finely chopped
- Pesto, such as Cibo Naturals Top hummus with a generous scoop and swirl with a spoon to make a beautiful presentation.
- Diced cucumber, crumbled feta, and fresh dill
- Pomegranate kernels
- Caramelized onions
- Marinated mushrooms See recipe, below!
Serve with your favorite chips or sliced vegetables.
There’s a reason that crostini is a staple appetizer: you can create a tasty and impressive platter with the same effort it takes to prepare a sandwich! Start with a baguette from Green Lion Breads: slice into rounds and drizzle with oil and a sprinkle of salt, and toast in the oven at 350F until just lightly browned. Remove and set aside to cool. Once cooled, arrange in a basket lined with a cloth napkin, and surround with bowls of toppings and spreads, with plenty of spoons and spreading knives so that everyone can help themselves. In a rush? Grab a box of Firehook Crackers in place of bread.
Our favorite crostini toppings:
In a food processor, combine minced garlic, olives, capers, anchovies (optional) and parsley, and pulse until finely chopped. Season to taste with lemon juice and olive oil. Scoop on top of hummus or serve with crostini.
Cannellini Bean Salad
Combine a can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans with minced garlic, chopped chives, chopped parsley, and chopped basil. Season to taste with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Optional add-in: chopped oil-packed sundried tomatoes, olives, or sliced scallions.
Boil cremini or white button mushrooms just until tender, 3-4 minutes. Drain and chop, then combine with olive oil, red wine vinegar, diced red onion, minced garlic, and freshly minced parsley and basil. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Marinate for 2-8 hours. Garnish with fresh oregano before serving.
Slice cooked beets (we like Love Beets brand) into bite-sized pieces. Toss with chopped chives, olive oil, white wine vinegar, and plenty of salt and pepper. Serve with crumbled feta or goat cheese.
Cheeses and Meats (Plus Veg Options!)
A holiday party wouldn’t be complete without an abundant display of cheese – your vegan friends will appreciate the addition of nut cheeses such as the ones made by Parmela Creamery and Treeline Creamery. (Find them in our dairy-free section.)
- Cloud Nine Goat Cheese from Yellow Springs Farm French-style, surface ripened goat cheese
- St. Malachi from The Farm at Doe Run Apine-style cow’s milk cheese
- Cheddar Cheese Spreads from Victory Brewing Company Infused with award-winning beer
- Vegan Black Pepper Nut-Cheese from Parmela Creamery Vegan and delicious
- Chicken Sausage from Bilinski’s Sear, slice, and serve with toothpicks
- Vegetarian Veggeroni from Green Slice Vegetarian meat substitute
Arrange these in small glass or colorful ceramic bowls for a stunning presentation.