Summer Appetizers

We are now into summer and that means a lot of bbq’s, family picnics and visits with family, friends and neighbors.  Today I will showcase a couple of new ideas to get you started AND excited to show off your new found recipe skills.

Firstly:  Fresh Figs with Proscuitto and Blue Cheese

Note-the combination of flavours can’t be beat but your figs must be perfect. Ripe but not too soft. Use both green and purple figs for variety.

  • 1/2 cup Blue Cheese
  • 6 medium figs, cut into quarters
  • 2 tbsp. of exceptional balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • pinch of mediterranean salt
  • light pinch of pepper
  • 1/2 lb. thinly sliced proscuitto, cut into strips.

Place 1/2 tsp. of the cheese on each quarter, gently pressing into the bottom of each fig piece. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Mix the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper together using a whisk and brush each fig.

To assemble, wrap the bottom half of each fig with a strip of proscuitto.  Do not refrigerate.

Secondly: Pecan, Brie and Grape Salsa Tarts.

 To get the results of this recipe you should have a high quality Brie. This means it should be soft when cut into but never runny.  If you make a mistake and buy an under-ripe wheel of Brie, you should be aware that it will not ripen further.

  • 1 cup seedless grapes, cut in half
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsps. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. each of fresh rosemary aned minced garlic.
  • pinch of pepper
  • 48 prepared tart shells (you could make your own pastry)
  • 1/2 cup roasted and chopped pecans
  • 8 oz. Brie, rind removed

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place grapes and salt in a processer and chop until coarse in texture. Transfer to a strainer and let stand for about 10 minutes. Mix together all the ingredients up to and including pepper. Fold in the grapes.

With a fork, fill the tartlets. This will avoid picking up any of the liquid. Bake until the cheese starts to melt (about 5 minutes). Do not over-bake. Serve immediately.

You have now become the queen of the appetizers for any occasion that crops up.


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