The other day Grandma and I organized a little friends gathering and decided to make some appetizers for party to serve to our guests.
Maybe you’ve already heard that Grandma loves to have people over she enjoys playing card games, cooking good food and likes to have company. I don’t know how she does it but somehow she can always come up with appetizers ideas for cocktail party.
Do you like appetizers?
I love them. I mean, have you ever thought about how versatile they are?
In Italy easy appetizers like cold canapés for example are served as appetizers for party and for the “Happy Hour”. To experience the “Happy Hour” – the real Italian way – you have to be in a local café around 7.00 p.m.
They will serve you a glass of wine, some olives, a selection of cold cuts (like ham, salami, prosciutto), probably some squared cut Italian cheese and all sorts of other cold appetizers.
Appetizers are a real tradition in Venice. If you ever go to Venice you’ll find many of these historic little cafés on the sidewalk along the canal (they are called Bacari). These cafés are usually tiny places with very low lights and they serve traditional appetizers which here are known as Ciccheti.
So as I said appetizers are really versatile, not only appetizers for party…
In fact besides enjoying them for a party or the “Happy Hour”, you can serve them for family gatherings, for an afternoon party with friends, for a quick lunch, for a Christmas party or whenever you have little time but want to eat something tasty and satisfying. You can choose from thousands of appetizer recipes: cold appetizers, baked or cooked appetizers.
Not only that, some appetizers for party are easy while other recipes take a ‘bit longer to prepare.
Whenever she has to get ready for a party or a friends and family gatherings at our house Grandma follows her own usual routine. Here is how it goes:
She gets up early in the morning and have her usual breakfast (which is typically warm milk and coffee – the traditional version of Latte Macchiato). While eating breakfast she starts thinking aloud about preparing her appetizers for a crowd, then she gets all confused because she wants to cook so many things that she can’t keep track of it. This is when she asks for paper and pen.
Grandma writes down all things she needs to buy and I’ll go grocery shopping to get her all the ingredients she needs to make her appetizers for party.
She told me she would prefer to serve appetizers that night to make it less formal and more fun. She was right because the party came out really well. As usual our backyard was filled with cheerful, smiling neighbors and friends, enjoying each other’s company and Grandma’s good food!
I want to share two easy appetizers for party recipes with you today so that you can try and make them for your friends and family and tell them they are Grandma’s special appetizers!
One of these appetizers for party was my favorite: small bruschette with green peas purée, Parma ham and cheese, so I will tell you how she made it.
But first her special skewers:
- Easy Italian Mozzarella skewers
You can make these with light and fresh ingredients of the season and make them look even more like typical Italian food by decorating the mozzarella and tomato skewers with fresh basil leaves!
You’ll need the following ingredients:
0.55 Ibs Mozzarella cheese
3/4 cherry tomatoes
1 large bunch fresh basil
3 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin is preferred)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
Cut Mozzarella cheese in small cubes. Now alternate mozzarella cubes and cherry tomatoes and insert them on to each wooden cocktail sticks (view picture).
Shred enough of the basil leaves to make about 2 tablespoons of it and set aside.
Use the remaining basil leaves and place them on a platter to form a serving base.
Arrange Mozzarella cheese and cherry tomatoes skewers on the basil leaves.
Whisk extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar and mustard to obtain an emulsion.
Drizzle vinaigrette evenly over skewers, sprinkle shredder basil over Mozzarella cheese and tomato skewers and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Here is my favorite for you to try:
small Bruschette with green peas purée, Parma ham and Italian cheese
8 slices of toasted bread
0.44 Ibs small green peas
0.15 Ibs raw ham, like Parma Prosciutto ham
0.08 Ibs parmesan cheese or pecorino cheese
6.76 Oz. vegetable broth
1 small onion
a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Sauté minced up onion in a pan with a the extra virgin olive oil until golden.
Add small green peas and sauté for a couple of minutes, add salt and pepper and pour in the vegetable broth.
Let cook for about 12 minutes then pour the sauteed green peas in a blender to obtain a smooth purée and let it cool for a little while.
Cut the toasted bread in small shapes. If you have a shaper you can choose the shape you prefer, I have hearts, stars, cats and many others but if you want something basic simply cut the slices in diagonal halves and you’ll end up with wonderful and delicious bread triangles.
Spread green peas purée over the small bruschette obtained (the triangles or whatever other shape you’ve made with the slices bread) then add a slice of rolled ham on top of it, finish with a flake of Parmesan or Pecorino cheese.
Serve on a nice appetizers platter!
And that was me enjoying Grandma’s party.
- Bottom line
I really hope you enjoyed these easy appetizers recipes I shared with you today.
Want more appetizers recipes and Grandma’s fun facts? So make sure to grab my new Book:
“Discovering Italy. Mediterranean cooking and lifestyle. Recipes and stories from Tuscany and more”
To See the Book>>> Click Here
Just like my Italian Grandma does, now you can turn your next friends or family gathering in something really memorable, just remember to get some fresh flowers to decorate the house and try those delicious appetizers recipes. If you do please don’t forget to comment here below and let me know how it went.