So, I whet your palate with an aperitif yesterday. Let’s move this cocktail party along with some appetizers!
As a frequent hostess, I am always on the lookout for crowd-pleasing munchies I can prepare entirely or largely ahead of time. It’s true I love being the kitchen, but when I have guests, I want to spend time with them! It’s also true I love spending inordinate amounts of time on lengthy, complicated recipes. That doesn’t mean I want everything I make to be that way, though. I truly do enjoy making a dish people enjoy only to be able to tell them how easy it was and convince them they can make it, too.
These two appetizers make the grade in both of these categories. The radishes with butter and sea salt, a classic French combination, barely even count for a recipe. You just clean and prep the radishes and put out some butter and a dish of sea salt. If you’re expecting a large crowd, you can halve the radishes and smear them with butter and sprinkle on the salt. The artichoke spread is a pour and process kind of recipe. It can even be made the day before. Frankly, it tastes even better after the flavors have had a chance to meld for a couple of hours.
Both of today’s recipes come from Williams-Sonoma’s Cocktail Parties book, which is packed with recipes just like these. If you’d like to win a copy along with a $50 Williams-Sonoma gift card, don’t forget to submit your three entries for the day. I’ll choose the winner, by random integer generator, first thing Saturday morning, so you can enter right up until midnight on Friday. Here’s how:
1. Leave a comment on today’s post telling me what you think of these recipes.
2. Either like Apple a Day’s new facebook page and come back here to tell me you’ve done so. If you already liked
the page yesterday, leave a comment on the facebook page question of the day and come back here
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3. Tweet the following message: *I entered to win a $50 Williams-Sonoma gift card on Apple a Day! You can enter here: http://goo.gl/i0Sup @appleadayblog* Once you’ve tweeted, come back to that day’s post and leave a post letting me know.
Artichoke Crostini and Radishes with Butter and Sea Salt
from Williams-Sonoma, Cocktail Parties
1 bunch radishes for each 6 guests
1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
For artichoke crostini:
1 large baguette, sliced into 1/4-in. rounds
1 (14-oz.) can water-packed artichokes hearts
1 1/2 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used olive oil)
3/4 c. freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. black pepper, plus more to taste
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
salt, to taste
fresh parsley, left whole or chiffonade, for garnish
1. Prepare radishes by trimming the roots and stems without cutting into the body. Leave whole or cut in half. Put the butter into a ramekin and smooth the top. Put the sea salt in a small dish. To serve, arrange radishes on a platter and put out with butter, salt, and several small knives. (Alternately, serve radishes already buttered and salted.)
2. For artichoke crostini, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until slightly golden, 5-7 minutes per side, depending on desired crispness. Remove from oven and let cool.
3. Meanwhile, drain, rinse, and pat artichoke hearts dry. Coarsely chop them and place in a food processor along with butter or oil, cheese, pepper, and lemon juice. Purée until smooth, then season to taste with salt.
4. When crostini have cooled, spread with artichoke mixture, garnish with parsley, and arrange on a platter. Serves 8-10.