Saturday, December 05, 2009

Two Party Appetizers - Asparagus Phyllo Cigars & Red Peppper Dip

So you said you would bring an appetizer to the party but now don't have any idea what to bring. Or worse, you committed to bringing more than one appetizer and now you're really stuck! Here are two options - one super easy and one a little more time consuming.

Asparagus Phyllo Cigars
This is a great savory and warm appetizer that happens to be vegan. To my knowledge, phyllo dough is usually vegan, while Puff Pastry typically is not. They take a little time to assemble, but they make a splash once they are served, which is worth it to me. As always, when working with phyllo, keep it covered with a damp towel until you are going to actually work with that piece.

In this recipe, you'll make an herb paste, which you'll spread on the phyllo, then cut into strips and wrap around the asparagus. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 425 for 20 mins and serve immediately.

24 Asparagus Spears - washed and trimmed
1 Package of Frozen Phyllo Dough
1/4 each of chopped Dill, Parsley, Chives
1 TBS grated lemon zest
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a small bowl combine the chopped herbs, lemon zest, salt & pepper and about a TBS of olive oil to make an herb paste.

Using 2 sheets of phyllo, lightly cover with the herb paste. You may have to drizzle with a bit more olive oil to spread the herbs around.

Cut the phyllo into 2 inch strips and wrap each strip around an asparagus spear. Place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and then bake uncovered. Each one will be golden brown and a little crunchy.

Red Pepper Dip
2 cans White Beans
1 16 oz jar of roasted red peppers (drained).
4 Cloves of garlic
Squeeze of Lemon juice
Salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste

Blend all in a food processor. Taste and ajust the seasoning. Serve as an alternative or along side some hummus with pita chips or wedges.

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