You’ve had a busy week. Maybe things didn’t go as you planned or you are in a bit of a funk. There is a light at the end of the tunnel – the weekend approaches. You are looking forward to hanging out with friends and family, and you can’t wait to watch your team win the big one.
But, said friends and family are coming to your house to watch said game. And, you are expected to feed them.
What snacks can you make in advance before kickoff? What can you do to avoid an even longer trip to the grocery store without resorting to the freezer case? Not that I don’t sometimes enjoy pizza rolls or 7-layer Mexican bean dip, but sometimes you want to mix it up…make something a little more special for your guests.
Or maybe you don’t.
If you do, though, then here are a couple of sophisticated snacks for even the pickiest eaters. And, most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry or cabinets. They are both easiest if you have a food processor, however.
These straightforward recipes are not only perfect to make in advance and keep in the refrigerator for a few days, but they also travel well (to a tailgate or friend’s house) and they taste just as good in the fourth quarter as they did during the pregame hype.
White Bean Dip
Makes about 2 cups
1 (15 oz) can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 – 3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
about 1/4 cup fresh parsley, packed, plus more for garnish
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
pita chips, carrot sticks, and/or celery sticks for serving
Place beans, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and parsley in the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse until coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Pulse again until smoothly pureed.
Transfer bean puree to a small serving bowl. Sprinkle lightly with minced parsley for garnish.
Serve with pita chips or crunchy carrot and celery sticks.
Black Olive Tapenade
Makes about 2 cups
about 3 cups Kalamata olives, pitted
1/4 cup capers, rinsed
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
juice of one lemon
about 1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 – 2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
black pepper, to taste
Add olives, capers, garlic, oregano, lemon juice, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes to bowl of food processor.
Pulse until it makes a smooth paste.
Slowly add olive oil while processor is running.
Season with black pepper, to taste.
This pungent olive paste is great spread on crostini or sandwiches.
Or include a small bowl of the tapenade on a platter of grilled vegetables (think eggplant, peppers, tomatoes) with mozzarella or goat cheeses. Or mixed into a classic pasta salad. You get the idea…
Let’s go team!