Three Easy Appetizers!

Excerpt from Ari’s Top 5 enews

Quick appetizers to brighten up your summer eating without spending much time in the kitchen

As you probably know, I’m always up for ways to make marvelous, world-class meals in a matter of minutes. All of these can be appetizers, but you can easily add a salad, or some toast, and turn them into part of a full meal. These are timeless and terrific!

Avocado with extra virgin olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano — Slice a ripe avocado in half, and scoop it gently out of the skin. Put the avocado with the “pit side” facing up onto a nice plate. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and some freshly ground black pepper, then drizzle on a good bit of great olive oil. The Goutis oil from Greece twould be wonderful. Grate on some Parmigiano Reggiano. That’s it! Enjoy!

Dates stuffed with ’Nduja — Two products that you probably know by now I’m really high on. Gently pull the dates in half, take out the pit, and stuff with a spoonful of that spicy spreadable Calabrian-style pork “sausage” from Tony Fiasche and friends at Tempesta Foods in Chicago. Let the ’Nduja come to room temperature so it’s easier to work with and you get the full flavor. If you want, you can warm the stuffed dates in the oven a bit too. Either way, these are a great bit of sweet, savory, and spicy in all in one tasty bite.

Tuna atop Tunisian harissa — Put a couple spoonfuls of the Mahjoub family’s incredibly tasty Tunisian harissa on a nice plate. Open your tin of Ortiz tuna (or sardines or mackerel) and put it on top of the harissa. Sprinkle on a bit of fleur de sel, freshly ground black pepper, or some Marash red pepper flakes and a little bit of extra virgin olive oil (I love the Mahjoub’s organic oil made only from olives grown on their family farm!). You’ll have a lovely deep red base topped with lightly colored tuna and a nice bit of bright golden green olive oil. Eat with toasted bread and enjoy!