Easy Appetizers for Your Holiday Table

With eating season just around the corner, we’re all looking for some unique and tasty dishes to add to our holiday spread.  Here are a few of my favorite appetizers, all of which were created or adapted by my friend Kari Lauritzen.  Thanks to her these are some of my go-to’s…and will all be making appearances on my own holiday table this year.

Warm Almonds with Olives and Herbs

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 peel Lemon, peel only
  • 1 cup Whole Almonds
  • 2 cups Mixed olives
  • 5 cloves Fresh Garlic Cloves, Whole

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Place olives, almonds, herbs, garlic, and lemon peel on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine.
  2. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until almonds are toasted, olives are beginning to wilt a little, and kitchen is fragrant.
  3. Let cool 5 minutes, then serve warm in a bowl. Make sure to include a smaller bowl nearby for guests to discard pits.
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crostini

Crostini with Smoked Trout

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 18 minutes

Serving Size: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup Fresh Dill
  • ¼ cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 8 ounces Smoked Trout
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ whole French or Sourdough Baguette

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine juice of 1 lemon, olive oil, fresh baby dill leaves, and smoked trout. Gently mix until trout is broken into small pieces. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes or until crispy on the edges and beginning to brown.
  3. Arrange crostini on a platter, then put a pile of the smoked trout dip on each crostini. Serve at room temperature.
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kale chips

Kale Chips

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 18 minutes

Serving Size: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Black Kale, wash and dry
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry kale. Remove stems by running a sharp knife along either side of the stem, making sure not to tear the leaves. Kale will almost be cut in half where you removed the stems, so just cut the remaining part so each piece becomes 2 long strips.
  2. Place kale strips on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer (may have to bake in batches or use several sheets). Drizzle olive oil over kale, then gently toss leaves so they're evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt.
  3. Place kale in 425 degree oven and bake for 5-8 minutes or until it's crispy and starting to turn brown. Watch carefully because it browns easily and after that it may taste burned. Remove from oven and let cool. Serve on a plate as "chips."
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Want more appetizer ideas for your holiday meal or party?  Keep checking back, as we’ll post lots more ideas in the coming weeks!

**Kari Lauritzen is my friend and fellow personal chef in Los Angeles**

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