On the Menu: Holiday Party Appetizers

Holiday Crostini's | Sacramento Street

Can you believe that it is already December? Even though this year is flying by, December is one of my most favorite months; a month filled with holiday lights, cooler weather and of course holiday parties. A lot of holiday parties. What better way to spend an evening than celebrating the season with friends and family?

I love throwing holiday parties and have discovered the trick to a stress-free holiday party is finding the right food to serve. I like to do heavy appetizers and cocktails at my holiday parties. That way it is less formal than a dinner, but guests still get enough to eat and drink. Plus,during the holiday season who has time for a sit down dinner? Appetizers make it easy to have guests come and go casually so they can make all of their holiday parties.

Here are two of my go-to recipes for appetizers –a butternut squash and ricotta crostini and a pear and goat cheese crostini. Both crostini’sare delicious and easy to prepare and the best part is that a lot of prep can be done in advance and they assembled on the day of your party. Also, you don’t have to worry about keeping the crostini warm, they are delicious either way, warm or at room temperature. Just set them out when guests arrive and watch them disappear. ~ Amanda

Holiday Crostini's | Sacramento StreetButternut Squash and Ricotta Crostini

Ingredients| Sacramento Street

1 cup butternut squash, ½” dice

2 Tbs. olive oil

¾ cup ricotta

1 onion thinly sliced

2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

2 Tbs. maple syrup

½ sweet baguette, thinly sliced and lightly toasted

chiffonade of mint

sea salt

Directions | Sacramento Street

1.) In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the butternut squash and a pinch of salt. Cook the butternut squash, stirring occasionally until brown and soft, about 5 – 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2.) While the butternut squash is cooking, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to a small sauté pan over medium heat. Once the olive oil is warm, add the onion slices, reduce heat to medium low and cook until the onions are soft and caramelized, about 10 – 12 minutes. Add vinegar and maple syrup and continue to cook until mixture is a jam like consistency, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

3.) When butternut squash is cooked, assemble the crostini by spreading 1-2 tablespoons of ricotta on the toasted baguette. Top with onion jam then butternut squash. Finish with mint and sea salt.

NOTE: The baguette can be toasted the day before and stored in a plastic bag. The onion jam as well as the butternut squash can be made the day before. Store in the refrigerator and bring all components to room temperature before serving.

Makes about 1 dozen crostini

Holiday Crostini's | Sacramento StreetHoliday Crostini's | Sacramento StreetPear and Goat Cheese Crostini

Ingredients| Sacramento Street

4 – 5 oz. goat cheese, softened

½ sweet baguette, thinly sliced and lightly toasted

1 firm but ripe pear, thinly sliced

¼ cup candied walnuts, chopped

½ tsp. thyme, chopped

sea salt

drizzle of honey

Directions | Sacramento Street

1.) Assemble the crostini by spreading 1-2 tablespoons goat cheese on each piece of toasted baguette.

2.) Top with sliced pear and candied walnuts.

3.) Sprinkle with thyme, salt and a drizzle of honey.

NOTE: The baguette can be toasted the day before and stored in a plastic bag.

Makes about 1 dozen crostini

Recipe by Amanda Frederickson | Photos by Emma Fineman for Sacramento Street 

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  1. Holiday Crostini - A Life Well Lived

    […] For the recipe, head on over to Sacramento Street.  […]

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