Perfect Florida Picnics – Appealing Appetizers
|June 30, 2013||Posted by Melissa under Healthy Eating, Produce, Recipes|
When picnicking, it’s good to have appetizers on hand, especially if people are playing games before the meal is served. Fresh vegetables and fruits are low in calories, and they are delicious, too! Potato and tortilla chips are yummy, as well, which makes salsa a natural choice. However, if you’re looking for something a little bit extra for your picnic, we have some recipes that will make your guests happy.
Red Pepper Hummus can be served with more traditional hummus side kicks like pita bread or pita chips, but fresh vegetables like celery, carrots, cucumbers and squash are perfect dippers.
• 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
• 1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
• 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped and drained
1. With processor running, drop garlic through feed tube and mince. Scrape down sides of work bowl. Add chickpeas, tahini and lemon juice; process until mixture is smooth.
2. Add roasted peppers; process until peppers are finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer hummus to small bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
Chef Justin’s Eggplant Picadillo has a hint of sweetness from raisins and a nice kick of heat from cayenne pepper. It tastes great with corn chips as well as fresh vegetables!
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 large white onion, chopped
• 8 garlic cloves, minced
• 6 Turkish bay leaves
• 2 large Florida eggplants, peeled and cubed
• 1 large can diced tomatoes in juice
• 3/4 cup raisins
• 3/4 cup sliced drained pimiento-stuffed green olives (from 5-ounce jar)
• 1/4 cup tomato paste
• 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and bay leaves; sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add eggplant; sauté until cooked, about 4 minutes.
2. Add all remaining ingredients. Simmer until picadillo thickens, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaves.
For more appealing appetizers, check www.thefloridachef.com.