December is a month-long feast, a time for parties and pot lucks. Every event, large or small, is a food lover's dream, and you'll have the honor of sampling the host's finest dishes. Potlucks are a delight, because you'll encounter at least one new-to-you recipe, along with the classics. But it can get dicey if you're attending six potlucks in five days--and you've promised to bring a dish to each one.
Between the baking and far-la-laing, a cook can run out of more than butter; she may be short on time and energy. Grocery stores always have grab-and-go items. But what if you could make an appetizer in five minutes? A festive, interesting, fresh appetizer?
Quick Appetizer "Wreath" for Exhausted Cooks
What You Need:
1 large platter
fresh herbs: rosemary, basil, sage, oregano, parsley, thyme, chives
cherry or plum tomatoes
1 small jar of pimiento stuffed olives, drained
1 small jar midget pickles, drained
cheddar cheese, cubed
pepper cheese, cubed
toothpicks (place in a nearby bowl)
Arrange herbs on the platter, shaping the strands into a wreath shape.
Add tomatoes, olives, pickles, cheese.
Sprinkle leftover herbs over wreath.
I love the flexibility of this dish. It can be simple or grand.
After you've made an herbal base, you can add whatever you like. The usual players--plum tomatoes and cheese--will never let you down. Herbs make a marvelous base for seasoned nuts. If you're not in the mood for something savory, use mint for a foundation, and add fruit, tassies, or bourbon balls.
For a wreath, I like to use a slightly curved platter. It keeps everything together, especially if you're taking the "wreath" to a party.