Summer Entertaining: Olive Oil-Inspired Appetizers and Hors d'oeuvres

Summer Entertaining: Olive Oil-Inspired Appetizers and Hors d'oeuvres

Imagine it's a sunny Saturday afternoon and your friends are on their way over. You've got the patio ready and the playlist set. Now, what about the food? Last time everyone got together, I decided to shake up my usual snack lineup using something I had right in my kitchen cabinet: good old extra virgin olive oil.

I started with a Tomato & Basil Bruschetta and didn’t stop there. By the time I finished, everything from the Mushroom Crostini to the Lemon Ceviche had a dash of olive oil. It was all about using what I had on hand to make each dish just a bit more special. And guess what? My friends loved it. They couldn't stop talking about the food, and honestly, it felt great to pull off such a hit with just a few simple tweaks.

Here are some super simple recipes that use olive oil to bring out the best in your appetizers. They're delicious and sure to get people talking. Let's get your party started right—no fuss, and lots of flavor!

Get the Party Started with Appetizers:

Fresh Tomato & Basil Bruschetta:

Ingredients: Ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, Tuscan Herb Olive Oil, French Fleur De Sel Sea Salt, pepper, and a baguette.

Preparation: Preheat your oven to 350℉, slice a baguette into thin pieces, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and bake for 5 minutes, flip, then bake for another 5 minutes. While they bake, dice tomatoes and toss them with chopped basil, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of Tuscan Herb Olive Oil in a bowl. Top the cooled crostinis with a spoonful of the tomato mixture and serve.

Olive Oil and Herb Marinated Cheese:

Ingredients: Cubes of feta or mozzarella, mixed herbs ( rosemary, thyme, and oregano), red pepper flakes, Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil.

Preparation: Place the cheese cubes in a jar, add herbs and red pepper flakes, and cover with Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil. Let it marinate for at least a few hours. Serve with toothpicks as a simple yet elegant hors d'oeuvre.

Drizzled Grilled Vegetable Platter:

Ingredients: Assorted vegetables (zucchini, bell peppers, asparagus), Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt, pepper, Blueberry Balsamic Vinegar.

Preparation: Toss the vegetables in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then grill until tender. Arrange on a platter and drizzle with more olive oil and balsamic for added flavor.

Olive Oil and Lemon Ceviche:

Ingredients: Fresh fish (like seabass or tilapia), Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, lime juice, Cilantro & Roasted Onion Olive Oil, and chili peppers.

Preparation: Cube the fish and marinate it for 10 minutes with Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and lime juices with Cilantro & Roasted Onion Olive Oil and chili peppers, for a refreshing appetizer.

Mushroom Crostini with Garlic Olive Oil

Ingredients: Sliced mushrooms, Garlic Olive Oil, cream cheese, fresh thyme, salt, pepper, baguette slices.

Preparation: Sauté mushrooms in garlic olive oil until golden. Spread cream cheese on toasted baguette slices, top with mushrooms, drizzle with more olive oil, and sprinkle with thyme.

Pour on the Charm: Olive Oil Tips for Savvy Hosts

Quality Matters: Invest in a high-quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.

Presentation: Serve appetizers in a way that showcases the simplicity and elegance of olive oil. A small drizzle can boost both the look and taste of dishes.

Pairings: Consider the olive oil's flavor profile and pair it with ingredients that will complement or enhance its characteristics.

Preparation: Some dishes can be made ahead of time, but adding olive oil at the last minute often preserves its flavor and health benefits.

Olive oil isn't just for salads! Use it to jazz up your appetizers and bring a splash of Mediterranean charm to your get-togethers. These easy recipes will simplify your party prep and wow your guests with every bite. This summer, make olive oil the star of your spread and enjoy the compliments as they roll in!