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Appetizer suggestions for pizza party?

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Hello,

I'm having about 20 people over for a surprise retirement party for my father.

We're picking up deep dish Chicago pizza - and probably serving a typical leaf salad.

Any appetizer suggestions? He's vegetarian and I was trying to avoid bread and cheese - since that's pretty much what the pizza will be. The simpler the better!

Anjali

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  1. Set out bowls of marinated and pickled items like assorted olives, artichoke hearts, cornichons, peppers, mushrooms, sardines, etc. with tons of toothpicks...

    Super simple and will compliment the bread and cheese.

    THM

    1 Reply
    1. re: THM

      I often re-marinate simply brined olives in a rosemary or thyme vinaigrette for a half hour or more before the party to add a little more flavor. Sometimes I heat the oil and the herbs up before marinating them, and they soak up the flavors better.

      Also, try whole, shelled almonds. Toss them in a skillet over high heat with a little oil, salt, pepper, and whatever other herbs or spices you like until they are warm and coated in the herbs and spices. They're good with "italian spices" as well as five spice powder, or lemon-pepper seasoning.

    2. Olive tapenade would make an excellent appetizer with pizza and salad. It is usually served with bread, but if you wanted to vary it as much as possible from the type of bread that pizza crust suggests, I'd go with something dark - maybe those small cocktail pumpernickel slices, or dense Russian black bread.

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodpimp

        It good for dipping of carrots and celery and blanched asparagus and blanched broccoli and fresh red peppers and yellow peppers and artichoke leaves and jicama and ... well you get the idea. Doesn't have to be bread.

      2. try these mushrooms. they only have a small amount of dried cheese for flavor. have fun!
        ali

        Link: http://www.just-recipes.net/stuffed_m...

        1. Some ideas:

          Vegetable kabobs that have been marinated in extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and spices, roasted or grilled and cooled to room temp.

          Chickpea salad. Caponata.

          Asparagus spears that have been steamed, cooled and served with your favorite creamy sauce.

          Or go retro and serve a Waldorf salad or Deviled Eggs.

          1. s
            sylvesterrussell

            Shrimp! Since the pizza will undoubtedly be veggie-laden, and meats are out, shrimp hot or cold any way you like. Blanched asparagus tips with a nice dip, gingered scallops with a soy dipping sauce. Maybe cukecumber slices topped with smoked salmon, creme fraiche and fresh dill? Nuts and olives?

            3 Replies
            1. re: sylvesterrussell

              "Vegetarian" usually means no seafood, either.

              1. re: C. Fox
                s
                sylvesterrussell

                Yes I know, I just read in the paper that fish feel pain when hooked, and I do really believe that we are insensitive to many things. However, many things also go on vegetarian pizza, so there is really very little to eat after you eliminate the bread/tomato/vegetable/seafood/meat/cheese options. Fruit seems an option, but I imagine that would be dessert. I did think about baked figs...what would you serve?

                1. re: sylvesterrussell

                  I'd go with some sort of a dip or spread -- tapenade; hummus; guacamole; cannellini with garlic, herbs, and olive oil; a pureed-asparagus concoction I made up once -- with crackers or chips. Or the cannellini, whole instead of pureed, dressed as above, on a little plate with a garnish of lemon and parsley. If they weren't doing a leaf salad, the vegetable kebabs or the asparagus spears that other posters suggested, or edamame, or oshitashi, or artichokes, or any kind of little vegetable plate that provided sufficient contrast with the pizza toppings.

            2. Try poached fennel, marinated mushrooms and eggplant caponata

              1. how about a pony keg?

                1. How about a spinach dip. Goes good with either cut up raw veggies or tortilla chips

                  one package of frozen chopped spinch, drained well
                  16 oz of sour cream
                  one packet of hidden valley ranch mix (dry powder)
                  one small can of water chestnuts, chopped in pieces