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Healthy holiday appetisers

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN
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Cuisine Here's what to serve for a wholesome festival meal

E verybody is looking for ideas for cocktail snacks at this time of year. The problem with traditional party platters is that they're often not the healthiest. But, there are plenty of healthy options for foods you can eat with one hand while balancing a drink in the other — and I'm not just talking about crudites. You can make crepes, cut them in half, spread them with something delicious and fold them into bite-size triangles. Some of Spain's traditional tapas come to mind, too: mushrooms cooked with lots of garlic, or the traditional potato frittata (tortilla española) served in bite-size pieces. This recipe serves eight.

Tapa of Mushrooms in Garlic Sauce

You find these mushrooms served in little ceramic casseroles at tapas bars all over Spain. It's a simple hors d'oeuvre that can be made ahead and reheated. You also can serve the mushrooms with toothpicks.

Ingredients

Extra virgin olive oil: 2 tbsp

Garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced: 4

Red chilli, small, dried and crumbled: 1

Mushrooms, wiped clean, stems trimmed, cut in half: 900 gm

Salt: to taste

Dry white wine or fino sherry: 1/2 cup

Fresh lemon juice: 1 tbsp

Chopped fresh parsley: 2 tbsp

Method

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy non-stick skillet.

Add the garlic and chilli.

When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the mushrooms and turn the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring, until they sear and begin to sweat, then sprinkle them with salt and add the white wine or sherry.

Turn the heat down to medium, and continue to cook, stirring or tossing in the pan from time to time, until the mushrooms are tender, five to 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley, taste and adjust seasonings, and remove from the heat.

Serve hot or warm in small ceramic dishes, or serve on a platter with toothpicks stuck into the mushrooms.

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN

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