Hors d’oeuvres get overlooked on Thanksgiving Day, save for that same old spin artichoke dip in the slow cooker. And it shouldn’t be so.
By STACY DOWNS
The Kansas City Star
Take a cue from restaurants and serve appetizing appetizers.
“It’s a big day with two football games, and the house smells incredible because good stuff is cooking in the oven,” chef Michael Smith says. “Starters mean we’ve gotten the party started.”
Smith is known for his cold, hot and adventurous tapas (small plates) at Extra Virgin. To get his Thanksgiving gathering started, Smith is apt to put out:
• Crackers and feta cheese drizzled with olive oil
• Poached shrimp with cilantro and paprika
• Marcona almonds
See recipes below:
• Marinated Olives
• Butternut Squash, Manchego and Pepperoncini Skewers
• Roasted Broccolini Wrapped in Prosciutto
Smith uses Castelvetrano, kalamata, Moroccan cracked, large Spanish green olives, Nicoise, Picholine, Lucques, Ponentine, Gaeta, Sicilian green, Cerignola, Taggiasca.
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 pinches red pepper flakes
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 lemon, sliced in half then thinly sliced
2 fresh thyme sprigs, crushed
1 sprig rosemary, leaves picked
2 bay leaves, crushed
2 sprigs oregano, rough chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 rib celery, minced
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add oil and mix with your choice of mixed olives. The mix should sit in marinade at least a day. The olives can be served in the marinade or they can be drained.
Per 1 tablespoon serving: 86 calories (94 percent from fat), 9 grams total fat (1 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace protein, 3 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber.
Butternut Squash, Manchego and Pepperoncini Skewers
Makes 12 servings
1 large butternut squash (can substitute winter squash, Hubbard or kabocha)
1 pound manchego cheese (can substitute caciocavallo)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 sprig fresh rosemary
12 small pepperoncini
12 small wood or plastic skewers
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
1 cup picked fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and carefully cut squash into 1-inch square cubes. Keep scraps for soups. Place cut squash in a medium bowl. Toss with salt, pepper flakes, rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil. Place squash squares on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake until just soft and lightly golden. When cooked, remove from oven and let cool. Season with salt again if necessary.
Cut cheese neatly into cubes a little smaller than squash. Drizzle with olive oil.
To assemble skewers:
Place a cube of squash on a work surface, set a cheese cube on the squash. Next, spear the pepper with a skewer and drive the skewer straight through the cheese and squash. Leave the skewer standing to create height on the serving platter. Repeat with remaining skewers.
Place all skewers standing up on a serving platter. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley leaves.
Per serving: 217 calories (47 percent from fat), 12 grams total fat (7 grams saturated), 43 milligrams cholesterol, 19 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams protein, 316 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.
Roasted Broccolini Wrapped in Prosciutto
Makes 12 servings
12 stalks broccolini
6 thin slices prosciutto
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 pinch pepper flakes (Smith likes espelette pepper flakes)
2 tablespoons salt
Fill a medium soup pot with water and salt and bring to a boil. Trim broccolini; remove 1 inch from the bottom of each stalk. Blanche broccolini in boiling water for 1 minute then refresh in ice bath. Drain and dry on a kitchen towel. Toast garlic in olive oil until it is golden.
Place broccolini stalks on a cookie sheet and coat with garlicky olive oil, lemon juice and pepper flakes. Toss to coat well.
Cut prosciutto slices in half crosswise. Wrap each broccolini stalk in prosciutto and arrange on a serving platter.
Per serving: 79 calories (32 percent from fat), 3 grams total fat (trace saturated fat), 1 milligram cholesterol, 8 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 84 milligrams sodium, 5 grams dietary fiber.