Appetizer Recipes

Beet Caviar
Beet Caviar - October 23, 2014

Inspired by a loaf of 100% einkorn bread passed to me by a friend (and the cookbook by Silvena Rowe I had in my bag at the time) - a beet caviar. Perfect for slathering - sweet earthiness of roasted beets accented with toasted walnuts, chives, dates, and a swirl of creme fraiche.

Deviled Eggs
Deviled Eggs - April 14, 2014

We had some beautiful deviled eggs leftover from lunch on Friday - they had an herb-flecked filling made with Greek yogurt and topped with chive flowers and toasted almonds. I packed them, along with a big pot of soup, for an overnight with friends in Bolinas.

Guacamole
Guacamole - January 30, 2014

To make great guacamole you have to go off-recipe. It's all about the in-between steps, decisions, and knowing when avocados are at their best.

Silverdollar Socca
Silverdollar Socca - September 23, 2013

Tiny socca-inspired pancakes made with buttermilk or keffir - golden, tender, and cooked in cold-pressed spicy mustard oil. Flat out delicious.

Gin-marinated Olives
Gin-marinated Olives - July 30, 2013

Hot, gin-marinated olives. I used big, green Castelvetranos tossed with a mixture of gin and olive oil, big swatches of lemon peel, lots of herbs. Feta cubes were the finishing touch.



 
 
 
 
Fennel Mushrooms
Fennel Mushrooms - October 1, 2012

A fennel mushroom recipe inspired by one of my vintage cookbooks, The Seasonal Kitchen by Perla Meyers. It's a simple, brilliant twist on everyday sauteed mushrooms with dill, chives, fresh fennel, and a kiss of creme fraiche.

Mast-o-Khiar Yogurt Dip
Mast-o-Khiar Yogurt Dip - September 8, 2012

The prettiest dip in my repertoire - my take on the Iranian preparation of Mast-o-Khiar (yogurt and cucumber). I use lots of fresh herbs, dried rose petals, toasted walnuts and a pop of added color and tartness from dried cranberries.

Parmesan Cheese Spread
Parmesan Cheese Spread - May 9, 2012

A Parmesan cheese spread made with grated cheese, olive oil, a splash of white wine, and any other accents you can think of.

Gougères
Gougères - December 17, 2011

Gougères - I have these little cheese puffs in my freezer, ready to bake, nearly always. This version, a favorite, is made with whole wheat flour, sharp white cheddar cheese, fennel, and ale.

Golden Potstickers
Golden Potstickers - October 5, 2011

Potstickers - For my flight to London, I made the filling with lots of caramelized shallots & pureed yellow split peas then pan-fried them until the bottoms were crisp and golden. They freeze like beautifully, perfect for quick dumpling-centric meals later on.

Liptauer Cheese Crostini
Liptauer Cheese Crostini - April 21, 2011

A couple book signing pics. And in an effort to expand my crostini repertoire, I made this flavor-packed liptauer cheese spread on black bread crostini - goat cheese, paprika, capers, pickles, onions.

Oatmeal Crackers
Oatmeal Crackers - March 14, 2011

Snappy, substantial, homemade oatmeal crackers - made with rolled oats and rye flour. Plus a little glimpse at some postcards I made.

Grilled Salt & Vinegar Potatoes
Grilled Salt & Vinegar Potatoes - July 11, 2010

Salt & vinegar chip enthusiasts, these are for you. You take slabs of sliced potatoes, boil them in vinegar, then grill them to a crisp. Not for the faint of heart, or anyone with particularly sensitive taste buds ;)...

Buckwheat Cheese Straws
Buckwheat Cheese Straws - August 22, 2009

These cheese straws look like wispy tree branches. Wayne calls them cheese twigs, and they never last very long around here. Crispy, cheddar-flecked, and rustic - it's the buckwheat flour that lends these slender creations their convincing shade of brownish gray.

Baked Sweet Potato Falafel
Baked Sweet Potato Falafel - May 17, 2009

Baked Sweet Potato Falafel recipe from the Leon cookbook -made from mashed sweet potatoes, chickpea flour, spices, a nice amount of garlic and plenty of chopped cilantro.

Monica Bhide's Chile Pea Puffs
Monica Bhide's Chile Pea Puffs - April 29, 2009

Monica Bhide's Chile Pea Puff recipe - crispy-skinned baked snacks stuffed with peas, paneer cheese, chiles, and garlic. From her new cookbook - Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen.

Classic Cheese Fondue
Classic Cheese Fondue - December 26, 2008

A classic cheese fondue recipe. I've included dozens of my favorite things to dunk - don't limit yourself to just bread!

Caramelized Onion Dip
Caramelized Onion Dip - December 6, 2008

A grown-up remake of the onion dip I loved as a kid. This one features lots of deeply caramelized onions, sour cream and Greek yogurt.

Hummus en Fuego
Hummus en Fuego - October 8, 2008

A beautiful, spicy hummus recipe made from pureed garbanzo beans, toasted walnuts, and spicy crushed red pepper oil finished with a few chopped olives and a bit of cilantro.

Apple Zucchini Crostini
Apple Zucchini Crostini - August 31, 2008

Inspired by a trip to Argentina, small crackers topped with an apple-zucchini relish, a tiny kiss of goat cheese, and a couple flecks of black pepper.

Grilled Pizza
Grilled Pizza - June 25, 2008

Grilled pizza recipe with an outline of techniques and considerations about the technique it takes to get grilled pizzas right - with topping ideas.

Plump Pea Dumplings
Plump Pea Dumplings - April 21, 2008

A vegetarian dumpling recipe featuring a simple pea, lemon, ricotta filling. Bright flavors and delicious steamed or pan-fried.

Olive Oil Crackers
Olive Oil Crackers - January 24, 2008

This cracker recipe makes thin, snappy, rustic crackers - sturdy enough to stand up to a hearty dip. The technique is simple and straightforward (utilizing just a few ingredients) and the dough is a welcoming canvas to all manner of seeds, salts, cheeses, spices, or flavored oils that you might want to use as accents.

Baked Artichoke Dip
Baked Artichoke Dip - January 21, 2008

An updated, healthier version of my favorite artichoke dip recipe. Artichokes pureed with yogurt, tofu, Parmesan cheese, and garlic and baked until golden.

Spicy Polenta-Cheese Crackers
Spicy Polenta-Cheese Crackers - April 22, 2007

Made from polenta, buttermilk, cayenne pepper, and Parmesan cheese, this is a perfect party cracker recipe.

My Dad's Garlic Bread
My Dad's Garlic Bread - February 21, 2007

My dad's garlic bread recipe - garlic, lots of butter, chives, and lemon zest slathered on a wide baguette. A garlic-studded, golden crusted masterpiece.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds: Three Ways
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds: Three Ways - October 28, 2006

Don't let all those pumpkin seeds go to waste, toasting pumpkin seeds is easy! This year I tried some different flavor combinations: Sweet & Spicy Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Black Tea & Butter Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, and Curried Toasted Pumpkin Seeds.

Baked Polenta Fries
Baked Polenta Fries - August 13, 2006

Great party finger food. A thick slab of polenta is sliced into the shape of a french fry and baked off.

Cheesy, Heirloom, Panini Batons
Cheesy, Heirloom, Panini Batons - July 29, 2006

One-inch wide slabs of toasted, cheesy, heirloom tomato filled deliciousness slathered with a basil-chive ricotta spread.

Animal Crackers
Animal Crackers - July 9, 2006

Make crispy crackers from wonton wrappers. The great thing about this cracker recipe is the way the wrappers provide a quick and easy blank canvas to experiment with - sweet or savory, spicy or seedy - there are countless directions to explore.

Dukkah
Dukkah - June 7, 2006

Great for dipping with olive oil, this dukkah recipe is a crumbly nut and spice blend typically associated with Egypt - hazelnuts, cariander seeds, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, dried mint leaves, and salt.

Whipped Chickpea Hummus
Whipped Chickpea Hummus - April 15, 2006

Actually two different takes on hummus. One with an Italian twist, and one a lovely shade of green from the incorporation of a bit of sauteed spinach.

Spiced Candied Walnuts
Spiced Candied Walnuts - December 30, 2005

This candied walnut recipe was is the perfect solution to a New Years Eve hors d'oeuvres dilemma. Made with walnuts, sea salt, black pepper, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and powdered sugar.

Heirloom Tomato Tart in a Parmesan Crust
Heirloom Tomato Tart in a Parmesan Crust - August 5, 2005

A knock-out tomato tart recipe - it highlights the flavor and vibrancy of the tomatoes while remaining mush-free.

Beluga Lentil Crostini
Beluga Lentil Crostini - July 23, 2005

This has become one of my favorite crostini recipes - goat cheese, black beluga lentils, and chives on garlic-rubbed crostini.

Fresh Shelling Peas: Four Ways
Fresh Shelling Peas: Four Ways - April 25, 2005

I went to the market and came back with fresh peas - here's how I cooked them. Pea recipes, time four.

Herb Jam with Olives and Lemon
Herb Jam with Olives and Lemon - February 9, 2005

A Paula Wolfert recipe - this is a fantastic Moroccan spread made of a thick mash of herbs and greens, accented with smokey spices, chopped olives, and lemon.

Herbed Buttermilk Popcorn
Herbed Buttermilk Popcorn - December 7, 2004

The seasoning from this popcorn recipe hits you in waves - the smell of the dill, the tang of the buttermilk powder, a bit of kick from the onion and garlic powder. You'll never go back to the movie theatre variety.