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May 16, 2011 11:35 AM

Vegetarian Appetizer Desperately Needed

What would be a good vegetarian appetizer that is not too difficult to make before vegetarian green Thai curry (potatoes, tofu, broccoli, cauliflower, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes)? For dessert I'm making a New York style cheesecake with two layers, one the traditional New York and the other key lime, so any ideas on what would be a good appetizer would be a huge help?

Thank you for your ideas!!

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  1. How about a Thai green papaya or green mango salad? Or these mango spring rolls?

    I think a raw, crunchy appetizer would offset the curry and cheesecake (both soft-ish) nicely.

    1. Insalata Caprese...Alternating slices of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella garnished with basilico far a brandelli (shredded fresh basil leaves). You'll have to excuse me, but I'm a relaxed cook and I use Italian culinary terms instead of those of an overly precise culinary genre.

      1. 1) Spears of raw or grilled vegetables (carrots, cucumbers) accompanied by satay sauce or sweet chili sauce. 2) Boiled peanuts (always a hit, I buy raw, shelled peanuts at Indian or Asian grocer)...eaten plain with a bit of salt or add finely chopped red onion, chopped cilantro, squeeze of lemon juice & salt to taste.

        If it doesn't have to be Thai, then try...

        I included chopped green chili in polenta & goat cheese as part of the topping...tasty. I am sure this can be made ahead.

        1. You can do a pretty presentation of mangoes. Present ripe mangoes on one side of the plate and on the other side, serve sliced unripe mango with salt and pepper for dipping.

          Alternative dip: this dip for unripe mango is traditional in my family but people who are used to it won't like it: mix sugar, cut up bird chiles, toasted rice powder, pepper flakes, fish sauce to taste and sometimes add kapi (shrimp paste) if you like it (I don't generally use it, but if you choose this, get the kind that's not water, it's a thick hard puck that comes in a plastic jar) if you like it. Growing up (Lao), I liked to have sliced crab apples with this dip..we had a two trees in our backyard and I couldn't wait until the crab apples came. Brings me back...

          I agree with jennymoon, a nice crunchy appetizer would be good. I also like ceekstat's idea for the spears of raw vegetables with a sauce.

          You could also make a rice roll wrap, but it's more work for you. Put in lettuce, cooked rice vermicelli and some julienned vegetables, don't forget the mint and red onion or shallot. Then serve with nuoc cham (a universal sauce in that part of the world). But don't serve too many, it's easy to get full on them.

          1 Reply
          1. re: S_K

            I would say the classic, pastry wrapped Brie that you bake and some crusty bread on the side. The reason I say that is any other kind of veggie type of thing might be sort of overkill given the main entree. Plus, it's simple and elegant and looks lovely despite whatever sort of cuisine you serve after it.

            Or, if you have some pretty bowls, an assortment of sweet/salty/spicey nuts and another of Kalamatas is hard for anyone to turn down. Either way, like the two I suggested, I'd keep it simple so you don't overtax yourself and can enjoy your guests. It's all in the presentation. Good luck!

          2. I think you should definitely stick with an Asian influence (sorry brie and caprese people - as much as I do love those things). I think that the lime layer in the cheesecake would make that all work. So for an appetizer, I think a nice summer role with vermicelli noodles, cilantro, scallops, carrots and red peppers with Thai chili sauce would be perfect. You can make them smaller if you want them to be more like finger food, or large enough for several bites if it's a sit-down appetizer.

            Or an appetizer at my local Thai place is just bite-sized cubes of tofu pan-fried with a heavy sesame seed coating. Addictive with Thai chili sauce!