The following recipes are not my own, and I’ve listed the sources. But they are tried and true (meaning I’ve made them again and again and again) and they are always a hit for parties. Whether I host a party, or am going to a pot luck, and especially if I am going to a pot luck, I like (no, I need) to bring something that I know at least one person, (that would be me!) will enjoy eating.
But the truth is, that these recipes get utterly devoured by carnivores and vegetarians alike. I have found that these recipes really work and the proportions are spot on correct.
The only slight changes I like is that I add more chives to the goat cheese toasts (courtesy of the planter of chives on my back deck) and I think chilling the chick pea mixture is helpful for the curried chick pea cake recipe prior to shaping into patties. For the farro salad, I like to substitute chives for the red onion. I am just not crazy about raw onion.
So, the next time you have a gathering, give one of these recipes a try. If you try a recipe listed here, please comment whether you liked it or not.
GOAT CHEESE TOASTS (From Giada De Laurentiis)
- 36 slices (1/2-inch thick) baguette bread
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces soft fresh goat cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
- Salt and coarsely ground multi-colored or black peppercorns
- 1/2 cup pitted Sicilian green olives or kalamata olives, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the bread slices on two heavy large baking sheets. Brush olive oil over the bread slices. Bake until the crostini are pale golden and crisp, about 15 minutes.Blend the goat cheese and cream cheese in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add the parsley, thyme, and lemon peel. Using the on/off button, pulse just to blend. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread the cheese mixture over the crostini. Sprinkle with the olives, chives, and more pepper. Arrange the toasts on a platter and serve.
Do-Ahead Tip: The crostini and cheese mixture can each be prepared two days ahead. Store the crostini in an airtight container at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate the cheese mixture. Let the cheese mixture stand at room temperature for 1 hour to soften slightly before spreading over the crostini
CURRIED CHICK PEA CAKES (from Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook)
Makes 10 Servings
- 1 (15-ounce/430 g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup (20 g) sliced green onions, both white and light green parts
- 1/3 cup (75 ml) light coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons evaporated cane sugar
- 2/3 cup (75 g) breadcrumbs, plus 1/4 cup (30 g) for coating
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 2/3 cup (130 g) brown rice, cooked
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) grapeseed oil or toasted sesame oil, for pan searing
- In a large food processor, combine the chickpeas and green onions. Pulse until combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut milk, sugar, 2/3 cup (75 g) of the breadcrumbs, curry powder, nutmeg, and cumin. Stir together with a wooden spoon until well combined.
- Stir in the brown rice and the salt.
- Mold into 10 mini patties.
- In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat (make sure it is preheated well in advance, so you get a nice crust). Add the chickpea cakes to the pan and sauté until there’s a nice golden sear on the bottom. Flip and sear the other side as well. Continue with the remaining cakes.Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
FARRO, CHICK PEA, FETA AND MINT SALAD (From Martha Stewart Magazine)
- 2 1/2 cups cooked farro, tossed with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice while warm
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (3 ounces)
- 1/2 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup fresh mint
- 1/4 small red onion, chopped (optional)
- Coarse salt
- Combine farro and chickpeas in a bowl. Stir in lemon zest, juice, and oil. Let cool.
- Stir in cheese, tomatoes, mint, and onion. Season with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.