It’s that time of year again: family gatherings, festive cocktail parties– and the same French onion dip you make every single holiday season. Why not mix it up a little with some new appetizers that will fill you up without weighing you down?
Guests will appreciate healthy, innovative alternatives to tired old cream-dips and potato chips. One we love is a good crudite with an interesting dressing. This is easy enough for people who might not enjoy cooking or fussing in the kitchen. Think boldly-colored goodies such as beets, baby purple carrots, radishes, cherry tomatoes, etc. to make the presentation irresistible. Enjoy with a glass of your favorite green wine.
We also love orange marinated olives. It might sound odd, but it will impress guests who’ve never paired the two flavors. You’ll need:
- 1 tablespoon garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 ½ teaspoons orange zest,
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper.
- ⅓ cup fresh orange juice
- 1 quart mixed olives
Simply saute the garlic in olive oil and add the zest and pepper. Stir while it cooks for about 2 minutes, or until garlic is softened. Add the olives and cook for about 5 minutes. Then remove it from the heat, and add your orange juice. Serve it room temperature – and get ready for the “wow”s.
Another great appetizer is sugar-and-spice nuts. Beat a few egg whites until frothy and add cashews, almonds, and any other nut you love along with a dash or two of Chile pepper and cinnamon. This is a wonderful appetizer because it pairs nicely with most holiday cocktails and wines. The spice blend is especially great with quality red wines like Natura Carmenere, a juicy red wine with cherry, chocolate, and spice notes. This festive red compliments all holiday treats and tastes great on its own.
Also noteworthy is that Natura Carmenere is a green wine, meaning it’s organic and created without harmful chemicals. What does this mean for you? Less pain when you accidentally drink too much of it and get a hangover, which, let’s admit, is the downfall of all of this holiday cheer.