Ari's Picks

Five Easy Appetizers for Your Entertaining

Great tastes made with two ingredients in under two minutes

If you’re having folks over to watch football or celebrate the New Year, are making something for someone special, or just want to treat yourself to some great flavors, here are five appetizers you can put together in minutes and eat with your fingers:

Side-by-side photos of Zingerman's Black Pepper potato chips and Ortiz anchovies

Anchovies and potato chips—an awesome bar snack that shows up around the Mediterranean. Made with those amazing Zingerman’s Tellicherry Black Pepper Potato Chips and some of the outstanding anchovies from the Ortiz family in the Basque country. If you like anchovies like I do, you’ll be very happy to have these. Lay an anchovy (at room temperature) on a chip, eat, and enjoy!

Rancho Meladuco dates with ’Nduja—the spicy spreadable Calabrian-style sausage made for us in Chicago by Tony Fiasche and friends at Tempesta with pork from heritage hogs and Calabrian chiles. Pit the date, spread on a bit of ‘Nduja. The spicy richness of the pork is a beautiful foil to the rich sweetness of the dates. The dates from Rancho Meladuco in California are beyond world-class. If you’re not eating meat, skip the ‘Nduja and use the Georgia Grinders Almond Butter!

Bakehouse bruschetta—It’s a simple formula: Good bread + good olive oil = one world-class treat! Buy Bakehouse bread of your choice; cut into thick slices. Toast until golden brown. Pour on a bunch of really good oil. The Paesano and the Marqués de Valdueza oil from western Spain would be wonderful, but really so would any of the Bakehouse breads and amazing oils at the Deli.

Creamery Cream Cheese with the spread of your choice—The handmade Cream Cheese is so good! All you have to do is top it with whatever is to your taste. If you like spicy, the Mahjoub family’s beyond-belief-good traditional harissa would be great. We have our long-time ZCoBber Tara Stowe’s new handmade Blueberry Chutney on the shelves at the Cream Top Shop which would be marvelous. The American Spoon Pepper Jelly is lovely this way!

Olive oil and honey—Put some great honey in the center of a plate. I think this works best with a thick, creamy one—that newly arrived, excellent orange blossom honey from the folks at Miele Thun would be marvelous. Then pour some good olive oil around it. I guess the third “ingredient” is warm bread, preferably to my taste, the Paesano. Scoop up honey and oil on the bread—a sweet and savory to start your year!

Send some snacks to someone special

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