I love holidays. And it’s because I love to eat. Memorial Day is fast approaching and we are having a BBQ to celebrate and remember loved ones who bravely fought and died for our country.
Here’s a few Memorial Day Appetizers that not only will get you salivating, but you can use them throughout the summer. I’ve always loved focaccia, crostini, and bruschetta recipes. Try these that I’m sharing here and see if you don’t agree that they are simple to make and even more fun to eat. Enjoy and remember what the true meaning of this holiday is all about.
Yummy Onion Focaccia
If you have never tried Focaccia bread, then start with this yummy caramelized onion focaccia snack. This is an easy appetizer recipe that makes a great snack and everyone will love it.
If you find yourself running out of ideas for a different appetizer or snack at the 11th hour for a party, pull this recipe out, make it and bake it and you are good to go!
What you’ll need:
– 2 Tablespoons of butter
– 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
– 2 onions (chopped)
– salt and pepper (to taste)
– 8 slices of provolone cheese (but really, any kind of cheese that you like will work)
– 1 focaccia (from the deli section) or a Boboli cheese crust (split it horizontally)
What to do:
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Next, melt the butter and the olive oil in your favorite skillet. Then, cook the onions for about 15-20 minutes while stirring frequently. You’ll want the onions to become browned and caramelized as this brings out the sugars in the onions and adds a wonderful flavor to the overall recipe. Just make sure you don’t overcook the onions so they burn.
Sprinkle the onions with a little salt and pepper and continue to stir.
Next, place the bottom of the split focaccia or Boboli pizza crust on an ungreased cookie sheet that you’ve lined with foil. Place half of the cheese on top of your focaccia. Now, you will finish off by sprinkling with the caramelized onions and the rest of your cheese slices.
The final step is to take the top focaccia slice and place it on top like a sandwich. Wrap the whole thing tightly in aluminum foil and bake it for about 15-20 minutes until you see that the cheese has melted.
Take out of the oven and cool for 5 minutes and then cut into wedges and serve to your hungry crowd.
You can also make this ahead of time, keep refrigerated and then heat it up in the oven before serving. Everyone will love it! Enjoy!
Goat Cheese Crostini
The nice thing about this easy recipe is it can be an appetizer by itself, or pair it with a delicious salad to make it more of a side dish or meal. This kind of cheese likes to have other flavors mixed in, so don’t be shy, use your imagination. All kinds of herbs work well. This is a great recipe for a Mother’s Day brunch too, but you can also serve it as finger food at a cocktail party.
What you’ll need:
– 8 slices of French OR Italian bread (cut diagonally)
– 1 (5-ounce) package of goat cheese – make sure it’s nice and soft and leave it out so it reaches room temperature
– 2 Tablespoons of chives (finely chopped) – you can also use any other herb that sounds good to you intead
– Salt and pepper (freshly ground) to taste
– 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
What to do:
Preheat oven to 350*F (175*C).
Toast the bread slices on a baking sheet in the middle of the oven until it gets a nice golden brown look to it – about 10 minutes. Remove the now toasted bread and preheat your broiler. (Nice part about this is, the toast can be made ahead up to 2 days. Cool completely and store tightly covered.)
While the bread is toasting, combine the goat cheese, chives (or other herbs), salt and pepper in a small bowl, blending all the ingredients well. Spread the cheese mixture onto the toast slices and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.*
Broil the crostini until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbling slightly – for about 2 minutes.
This easy appetizer recipe makes 32 beautiful servings. Serve on your favorite party platter or salad plates.
*The cheese mixture can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days.
Asparagus and Cheese Bruschetta
I love Bruschetta recipes. It’s easy to make and they taste so good. This asparagus and cheese bruschetta is a long time favorite of mine. Whenever I make it for a crowd, they disappear almost instantly!
What you’ll need:
– 1 lb. of asparagus (break the ends and cut into 1.5 inch pieces)
– 8 oz. of Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese (grated)
– 6 oz. country ham or for a more low-fat version – use Canadian bacon (finely chopped or grind it up in a food processor)
– 1 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices (grill or toast the slices)
– 3 garlic cloves, (peel and cut in half)
– extra-virgin olive oil (use what you need to drizzle on at the end)
– Kosher salt (to taste)
– black pepper (best results if you use freshly ground)
What to do:
Turn on your broiler.
Use a large sauté pan – fill it 3/4 of the way with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook about 2 minutes to keep it tender-crisp. Drain the asparagus in a colander, while running cold water over it to stop the asparagus from cooking. Save.
Toss the cheese and ham together in a small bowl. Save.
Next, take your garlic halves and rub them against one side of the toasted break slices to flavor it. Then drizzle the olive oil over the tops of the toast.
Place the lightly cooked asparagus on the toast and then put small spoon fulls of evenly divided cheese and ham mixture on top of the asparagus. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.
Finally, place the newly made bruschetta on a baking sheet. Put the sheet in your broiler and let it bake until until the cheese to melt, brown and bubble. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn. This should be approximately 2 minutes.
Serve immediately while warm. This delicious easy appetizer recipe makes 12 servings (3 pieces each).
And there you have it. Make these yummy appetizers and wow your crowds. Have a happy and safe Memorial Day!