Tag Archives: appetizer

Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Gouda Crostini

I came up with this appetizer, Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Gouda Crostini, while trying to think of a flavorful appetizer I could offer on Thanksgiving. The result is a tasty bite with layers of delicious flavor. Baguette slices are toasted and topped with basil, roasted red pepper, smoked gouda, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. This is an appetizer that can be made quickly if you are having a party or need a bite in a pinch. Come Thanksgiving, I hope I can steal a couple of minutes with the oven to make this because it is so tasty. I used roasted red peppers to save time but if you have fresh peppers on hand, roasting them is super easy (see below). When it comes to cheese, smoked gouda is my favorite hands down but any other smoked cheese will work here as well. This crostini is versatile too Рconsider tomato and mozzarella or apple and Gruyère here in place of the red pepper and gouda to make for an equally delicious appetizer. I have no doubt these will be a hit with both your vegetarian and meat-eating guests at your next get-together.

Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Gouda Crostini (makes 12 appetizers):

  • 1/2 French baguette
  • 12 pieces jarred roasted red peppers (about 1 1/2 inch in size)
  • 12 small fresh basil leaves
  • 12 smoked gouda cheese slices cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lemon

Note: To make your own roasted red peppers, cut fresh red peppers in half, remove seeds and ribs, flatten, and broil for 15 minutes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place blackened peppers in a sealed zip-top plastic bag seal and let stand 15 minutes. Remove from bag, peel, and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

The ingredients:

Preheat the broiler. Cut bagette into 1/4 inch slices and put into a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and place under broiler for a few minutes until golden brown.

Meanwhile, pour balsamic vinegar into a small pan and bring to a boil over medium-heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquid reduces by half (about five minutes).

Remove bagette slices from the oven and top each piece with a piece of roasted red pepper and basil.

Cut lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the basil. Top each basil leaf with a slice of gouda cheese.

Place under the broiler until cheese melts (about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes). Move crostini to a plate and, using a spoon, drizzle balsamic glaze over each crostini. Serve warm.

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Me! ūüôā

Caramelized Onion, Gruy√®re, and Bacon Spread

If you like¬†caramelized onions and need a tasty appetizer for any of the upcoming holidays, consider¬†Caramelized Onion, Gruyere, and Bacon Spread.¬† This creamy dip can be spread on crackers, crusty bread, or crisp vegetables.¬† Onions are slowly saut√©ed until soft and golden brown before being mixed with gruy√®re cheese, mayonnaise,¬†sour cream,¬†chives, and bacon.¬† I used light mayonnaise,¬†fat-free sour cream, and turkey bacon in this dish which helped to lighten it in calories without sacrificing any flavor.¬† I really like the addition of the chives in this dip – I just wish I liked onions more.¬† Before I started this blog, I usually either left onions out of a recipe or used shallots instead.¬† I’ve come a long way since then and cooked onions don’t bother me as much¬†anymore but this dish¬†was a little too ambitious for my taste buds.¬† Don’t get me wrong, this is a tasty dip.¬† Just make sure you like onions.

The ingredients:

Sauté chopped onion in non-stick spray over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and cook onions for 20 minutes until golden brown. 

Once onions have cooled, combine them in a bowl with cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, salt, pepper, and crumbled bacon.

Pour into an oven-proof dish and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of reserved cheese.

Bake at 425¬į for 20 minutes.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None


  • Light mayonnaise
  • Turkey bacon

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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