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Light appetizer ideas to have with wine

I'm having my 3 girlfriend over to drink wine and have dinner. The dinner I have planned is pretty filling, so I don't want them to fill up on appetizers (which they are known to do!). I'd like something for them to munch on before dinner (finger food). The only thing I've come up with is cheese straws. I don't want any dip or anything involving bread. Other ideas are olives (but I've done that a lot) or nuts. Any ideas for me?

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  1. I did a red grapes and Wensleydale cranberry/cheese platter, and everyone raved. I did add a few small crackers for the cheese, but if you mound the grapes and cheese, they shouldn't fill up.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mcel215

      I agree with the cheese and grapes platter. Keeps it simple and light. You can add Marcona almonds to this for a sweet (fruit) / tangy (maybe a goat cheese) /salty (almonds) taste mix.

    2. roasted garlic- wonderful & light

      tomato, red pepper & mozzarella

      1. When I have this concern, I like to make little canapes - often with whatever I have around, so that there are only a certain number per person, rather than putting out cheese/salumeri etc. that people help themselves to. You can use sliced cucumbers or hollowed out cherry tomatoes as a base - put a little smoked salmon or trout on the cukes, or some kind of mayonnaise based salad that you've whizzed in the FP in the tomatoes.

        1. Gougeres. Light, tasty, finger food, great with wine.

          1. Goat cheese in endive is nice. Prosciutto wrapped around breadsticks with some cheese is always good.

            1. I'm planning to make olive/pistachio "savory biscotti" as an HD for a party this weekend. I have never made them before, but I couldn't resist... the pic looked too good. Said to go well with red wine. Although perhaps this is too close to bread.

              Can you get fresh figs? Halved figs stuffed w/ softened goat cheese and drizzled w/ honey/herm/lemon is good.

              Ginger scented pecans are a favorite of mine...I think you can find the recipe on the Marta Stewart site.

              Cut a wedge of manchego into little triangles. Top w. a tiny cube of quince paste.

              1. I've seen Giada make these parmasean crisps on her FN show before; you grate parm-reg into tiny piles on a silpat sheet and broil for just a few minutes to make a cheese crisp. they look delicious, would be light and easy to top with various things if you felt like it (tapenade, etc). plus, what goes better with wine than cheese?

                1. I've made those - using a Mario Batali recipe from the FN ... the name of them is not coming to me though - maybe criccos?

                  2 Replies
                  1. Flash cooked Asparagus wrapped in procuitto and drizzled with a light balsamic dressing.

                    Chopped Italian Salad; Sort of like a traditional antipasto salad over a bed of greens with a light viniagrette. Antipasto; A few slices of genoa, mortadella, & cotto salami, provolone, fontina, etc, etc.

                    1. This weekend, I made these Manchego Crackers for a wine tasting. They're really easy - essentially a pie crust recipe with grated cheese - and are very light and tasty!

                      My changes: I added a pinch of smoked paprika and a pinch of ground ancho chili pepper, and I served the crackers with quince paste. They were lovely with our Cava (a Spanish sparkling wine).



                      1. Medjool dates stuffed with good parmesan and topped with a drop of balsamic vinegar. Or stuffed with a walnut and blue cheese. Or stuffed with goat cheese and dark chocolate. Can you tell I like dates?

                        1. Giada has an easy recipe for shaved carrots wrapped in basil and prosciutto. The savory and sweet together taste fabulous and would be a great accompaniement to a glass of white or a light red.

                          -- Grate carrots
                          -- Mix carrots with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste
                          -- Lay out one slice of prosciutto
                          -- Place a piece of fresh basil on top of the prosciutto
                          -- Spoon a dollop of carrot salad on top of the basil
                          -- Roll the entire thing up into a mini cigar and secure with a toothpick

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: courtneyc

                            Thank you everyone! I went with grapes and cheese and cheese sticks and was perfect. No one ate too much. I will keep these ideas for my future parties. I used Piave cheese which I discovered at whole foods.