Last night I came up with a fun, quick appetizer – an antipasto plate of a sort. Michael and I weren’t quite ready to have dinner but needed a little nibble to tide us over until the lamb shoulder steaks I was marinating were ready to go on the barbeque.
Hummus and green pea crisps would have been fine. (Have you tried these little darlings? Pea crisps are low in fat, have lots of fiber and less calories than potato chips – my new “go-to” dippers.) And, I just got some fresh salsa (also very delicious) from Costco, which would have been yummy with warm tortilla chips. But the Marconi almonds I bought (also from Costco) had my attention … as did a nice bottle of Beaujolais chilling in the fridge, so that’s the direction I went.
Marconi almonds come from Spain. They are meaty moist and mild in flavor. They are a bit pricey compared to California almonds, but using them in a dish ups the “special” factor – very nice to serve guests or, as I chose, to accompany good wine and easy conversation with my beloved.
A while back, my friend Celia served almonds, olives and a wedge of good cheese as an appetizer – a combination I hadn’t tried before, but that I found very compatible with a good glass of wine. So I did a take on her offering with what I had on hand.
It turned out to be quite the international platter:
Marconi almonds from Spain,
Lucques olives from France,
Hard salami from Italy,
Grape tomatoes from Mexico
Gorgonzola cheese from Trader Joe’s …which means it could have come from anywhere in the world!
Paired with slow sips of Beaujolais, the combination was a winner.
I wanted to share this with you to give you ideas for your own quick appetizer. Think about what you like, what you have on hand and what tastes good together – a little bite of this, a nibble of that – then put all those nibbles on a plate and serve! You can’t go wrong.
Eat well. Be happy.