When choosing appetizers for the holidays, or any party, choose recipes that can be made ahead. The last thing you want to do is take up precious oven time, when it’s needed for a big roast or other side dishes. Also, you don’t want to be scrambling to finish appetizers as guests arrive. Choose appetizers that can be prepped in advance and that hold well at room temperature.
Marinated Olives (while great warm, they also work at room temperature)
Cheese Plate – with bread or crackers and fruit and nuts, even a small dish of jam
Crudités and Dip – While this is the most common appetizer, change up the dip to add a new twist, or choose a vegetable or two that are more unique. In Italy just an extremely amazing, peppery olive oil is used as a dip and fennel is thinly sliced for a crunchy anise treat dipped in buttery, peppery olive oil. Break apart some Belgian endive. The leaves are perfect for dipping – hearty, crunchy, and slightly bitter. You could also add some pureed red pepper to hummus to change up the dip. Or find pre-made edamame hummus to make it super simple.
Cured and Smoked Meats and Fish with bread or crackers – all you need to do is lay the items out. Garnish with some fresh or dried fruit.