Category: Appetizers

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Acorn Squash

Honey and allspice bring out the sweetness of this autumn favorite, a natural holiday tradition.

Ingredients:

  • 2 acorn squash
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 thin slices of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise (from stem to tip) and remove the seeds and stringy pulp from the centers of the two halves. Place the halves on a baking sheet, flesh side up. Spread 1 tsp. of honey on each piece of squash, followed by grinding of pepper, two slices of butter a pinch of allspice. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the squash gets very soft and begins to brown. This should take about 45 minutes to an hour. Allow the squash to cool slightly before serving.

Roasted Garlic Hummus

This tasty variation emphasizes sweet, creamy roasted garlic rather than tahini, with a marvelous result.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas or 2 14 oz. cans unsalted canned chickpeas
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock or broth
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon

Directions: If using dried beans, soak them overnight, simmer until tender and drain. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, put the head of garlic, whole, in a small baking dish and roast it until the cloves are soft; this should take about an hour. Remove the garlic from the oven and slice off the top, then squeeze the head over a small dish to extract the cooked garlic flesh from the papery skin. Add the drained beans, the cooked garlic and the rest of the ingredients to the canister of a food processor and process to a smooth puree. Chill for one hour before serving.

Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Napoleon

Tomatoes served with fresh mozzarella and basil are a great Italian tradition.

Ingredients:

  • 4 vine ripe tomatoes cut into 1/4- inch slices
  • 1 large ball fresh unsalted mozzarella, sliced thin about a pound
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, washed
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • balsamic vinegar as needed
  • olive oil as needed

 Directions: Place four plates on a table. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil on each plate, followed by 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Place a slice of the cheese on each plate, then a basil leaf and then a slice of tomato. Repeat this process until all the cheese and tomatoes are gone. Top each plate with another small drizzle of oil and vinegar season with pepper and serve.