Browsing all articles tagged with appetizer

Cranberry Walnut Pesto and Prosciutto Crostini

What you’ll need…


(slightly adapted from my old pesto recipe)

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup walnuts

1 cup fresh basil (firmly packed)

2 cloves garlic

1 TBSP red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

olive oil (2/3 cup approx.)


1 white baguette (1/4″ sliced)

250g package prosciutto

1 cup goat cheese

This month, I’ve seem to be on a bit of a crostini kick with the Kielbasa crostini and now these little guys. I suppose it is the season for bite-sized appetizers, though, isn’t it? For the past week, I’ve been back home in Saskatoon for all sorts of Christmas festivities. While I was hope, Global Saskatoon asked if I would swing by their studio to do a short New Year’s Eve cooking segment with them. Thus, this crostini was born. The segment will air tomorrow morning on Global Saskatoon, but here’s the breakdown of the recipe here…

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Balsamic Roasted Red Pepper Risotto and Giveaway

What you’ll need…

2 cups half and half cream

4 cups chicken broth (or veggie to keep vegetarian-friendly)

3 roasted red bell peppers (approx. 1 cup)

1/2 bulb roasted garlic

2 TBSP butter (softened)

1 yellow onion (finely chopped)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 cups arborio rice

salt and pepper

olive oil

fresh parsley (for garnish, optional)

I just finished filming two segments for Food Network Canada’s series ‘Eat St.’ these past couple of days. It was a lot of fun, I got to talk about two of my favourite food trucks (Alley Burger and Perogy Boys), but two days of shooting in cold fall weather, with rain to boot, has officially chilled me to the bone! Damn…fall really is here now…

Well, what better way to warm up then with a creamy risotto? The thing some people don’t like about risotto is all the stirring you have to do, but when you’re looking to shake the chilly, then standing by the stove, spooning (not that kind of spooning) a hot pan for thiry minutes couldn’t really be all that bad, right?

If you’ve ever made risotto before, you’ll know that it comes off a lot more intimidating then it actually is. Hell, we even make risotto in my Start From Scratch class. If those kids can do it, you can do it! Anyway, onto the cooking…Start off by putting the cream and stock into a medium-sized pot, then let come to a simmer on high heat. Once it starts to bubble, reduce to low heat, you just need the broth hot, not boiling. While you’re waiting for that to heat up, puree the roasted bell peppers, roasted garlic and butter using a blender or food processor. We’ll add thisat  the end of the risotto cooking process, so better to have it ready and waiting now!

Now, drizzle some olive oil in a large pan, throw in the chopped onion and garlic and let cook on medium-high heat until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan and continue to cook until the liquid has reduced byhalf, about 5 more minutes. Now, pour in the arborio rice, stirring until everything is evenly mixed. Let the mixture cook for another couple minutes before you start adding the broth.

This is where all the stirring comes in, you don’t really need to stir with religious conviction for the next 25 minutes, but be attentive and stir regularly. Add-in one ladle of broth at a time, letting the liquid become almost completely absorbed before adding more broth. Continue this process until you’ve used up all of the broth. Finally, stir in the roasted pepper puree and watch your risotto turn a beautiful orange-reddish hue. How autumn, right? Season with a bit of salt and pepper and dish out. Warm up by the mouthful!

Serves 4-5

Total cook time…40 min

As an added bonus today, The Rocky Mountain Wine And Food Festival is taking place this weekend in Calgary. The festival showcases amazing wines, spirits, as well as great food from local restaurants. Since I love to share, I’m giving away two sets of double passes to attend this event this Friday night, October 14th (doors open at 4 p.m.).

To enter to win one of the double passes simply share my recipe on twitter (mentioning myself, @dansgoodside and the festival, @rockywinefood), or leave a comment in the thread below. You have until Thursday night, October 13th, at 11PM to enter the contest. I’ll announce the lucky winners on Friday morning! Good luck!

Click here for full details on this festival.


Garlic Zucchini And Fava Bean Dip

What you’ll need…

1 medium zucchini (cut length-wise, then quartered)

1/2 bulb roasted garlic

2 13.5oz cans fava beans (drained, reserve liquid from 1 can)

1 lemon (zest and juice)

1 TSBP red wine vinegar

2 TSP dried oregano

1 TSP dried basil

salt and pepper

olive oil

roasted hazelnuts (for garnish, optional)

 If you have a vegetable garden, saying goodbye to summer usually coincides with saying: ‘What the hell am I supposed to do with all of this zucchini?!’ Let’s be serious here, deep down, I know everyone has a secret, undying love for zucchini…or, maybe it’s just me…I do seem to be on a bit of a zucchini kick lately, but too many recipes options than not enough, right? Anyway, this is a nice simple dip that will go over well as an appetizer, or even pretty rad as a spread for sandwiches. Hummus is so last year anyway…

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. Place the pieces of zucchini in a medium-sized bowl, drizzle with some olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then toss a few times to evenly coat. Pop the chunks into a prepared baking dish and let roast in the oven for 20 minutes, turn over once at the halfway point. Once the squash is nice and roasted, remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.

Next, place the zucchini and all remaining ingredients (including the reserved liquid from the canned beans) into a food processor or blender. Slowly pour in some olive oil while pulsing the mixture. Blend until smooth. Add some freshly ground black pepper, taste, and then a pinch of salt if needed. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let chill inthe refridgerator for at least an hour. Top with toasted hazelnuts for an added crunch, and serve with some homemade crackers or warm foccacia!

Yields 4 cups of dip

Total cook time…30 min (not including chill time)


Roasted Zucchini ‘Tartar’ With Leek Buttered Crostini

What you’ll need…


2 zucchini (ends trimmed, quartered)

1 1/2 cups soft tofu

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic

2 TBSP lemon juice

1 TBSP dijon mustard

2 TSP horse radish

1 shallot (minced)

1/4 cup capers (finely chopped)

1/4 cup gerkins (finely chopped)

salt and pepper


1 yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

2 leeks

2 TBSP margarine

2 TSP dried basil

salt and pepper

olive oil

1 baguette (sliced, 1/2″ pieces)

Don’t you wish you could whip up a vegan appetizer that wasn’t just an…umm…just a vegetable tray? Well, now you can. This dish is easier than a six piece Bob The Builder puzzle to put together, and even easier to impress with. Carnivorous cravings aside, only a cold-hearted, meat-loving T-Rex would not admit to loving this one. And, if you do, in fact, have a T-Rex over for dinner I both fear for you and am impressed with your ability to bring dinosaurs back from the dead…

Start off by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. Place the zucchini pieces in a medium-sized bowl, add some olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper, then toss until coated. Place on a prepared baking tray and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, uncovered, turning once or twice. In the meantime, combine the soft tofu, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, and horse radish in a blender. Blend until smooth and set aside.

Once the 20 minutes are up, pull the zucchini out of the oven and let cool. When the squash is cool enough to handle, chop into tiny cubes, 1/4″ or so. In a a medium-sized bowl, mix together the chopped zucchini, tofu mixture, shallot, capers, and gerkins. Stir until evenly combined. Salt and pepper to taste, then place in the refrigerator to chill. (note: can be made a day in advance!)

Now for the crostini…Preheat your oven to 425 degrees (disregard if you have just made the zucchini portion, then just leave the oven on!) Place the onion and garlic into a large pan. Drizzle with some olive oil, add some salt and pepper, then cook down on medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Once the onions soften, add-in the leeks, and continue to let cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add the margarine and basil to the pan. Stir until the margarine has melted and everything is evenly combined. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Place contents of pan into a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside until you’re ready to butter the crostini.

Pop the baguette pieces onto a large baking sheet, brush the tops with some olive oil and bake until they start to turn golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Serve them warm with a generous slathering of the leek butter, then top with some of the chilled zucchini ‘tartar’ or just serve it on the side.

What do you think, T-Rex?

Serves 4

Total cook time…1 hour (not including ‘tartar’ chill time)


Sweet Strawberry Salsa with Brown Sugar Chips

What you’ll need…


5 white medium-sized pitas (opened and quartered)

1/2 cup butter (melted)

1/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)


3 cups strawberries (trimmed, finely cubed)

1/2 granny smith apple (finely cubed)

1 cup fresh mint (minced)

3 TBSP cane sugar

2 TBSP orange juice

1/4 TSP vanilla extract

Sick of less than wonderful spring-time weather? So am I. Making this sweet (both literally and figuratively) strawberry salsa will enable you to go on a mental tropical getaway. If the weather happens to drastically change while you’re prepping this dish, then I would say this dessert version of chips and salsa are best enjoyed outside…with BBQ’ed anything.

For the chips…start off by preheating your oven to 40 degrees. In a small bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar. Using a pastry brush, apply brown sugar/butter mixture to each pita ‘chip’. Lay out chips evenly on couple of prepared baking sheets and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the chips turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

For the salsa…combine all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Toss until everything is evenly mixed and the cane sugar has dissolved. As with any salsa, if you give it some time to sit, chill, and flavour intermingle, it will taste that much better. I left the strawberry salsa in the fridge for 45 minutes before serving, longer probably would have been a bit better. Whatever time allows. (Hey, it’s your fake tropical vacation, right?)

Serve this up the same way you would serve standard-issue chips and salsa. Best digested with a mojito in-hand. Sounds like summer to me! Bring on the sun!

Serves 4-5

Total cook time…1 hour (or so)



Sweet Potato Parmigiana

What you’ll need…

1 large sweet potato

4 tomatoes

1 yellow onion

3 garlic cloves

2 eggs

2 cups bread crumbs

1 cup flour

1 cup grated parmesan

1 cup grated mozzarella

1/2 cup fresh basil

2 TBSP balsamic vinegar

1 TSP white sugar

1 TSP oregano

1 TSP thyme

canola oil

olive oil

salt & pepper

Typically made with eggplant, this is my twist on a classic Italian dish. Nothing says: ‘ultra delicious side dish’ like  a bread crumb coating, marinara sauce, and lots of cheese. This is the kind of thing you can serve to a self-proclaimed ‘sweet potato hater’ and still receive rave reviews, I promise!

First off we’re going to make the sauce. So, chop up the onion, dice the tomatoes, and mince the garlic. Place the onion and garlic into a large-sized pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, turn to medium-high heat. Once the onions have softened, add-in the tomatoes, stir, and turn to medium heat. Let the tomatoes cook for 5 minutes, then add 1 cup of water  and the balsamic vinegar. Once the mixture starts to bubble, add the oregano, thyme, and sugar. Stir again and let simmer for 10 more minutes. Salt & pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let cool down for a few minutes. Place the mixture in a blender or food processor with the fresh basil and puree until smooth. Set aside for now.

Now preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and let’s get onto the sweet potato component: Peel, then cut the sweet potato into 1/2″ medallions. We are going to fry these quickly to get a nice crispy coating on them, so we’ll need to set up a breading station here…3 bowls…

1. Flour            2. Eggs            3. Bread crumbs

Procedure: Lightly cover a medallion in flour, dip it in the egg, and, finally, give it a good coating of bread crumbs. Once you have several completed, start crisping them up! Add some canola oil to a large-sized pan and turn to high heat. Once it’s nice and hot (a pinch of flour is a good test) place in a few pieces of the sweet potato. Let cook until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes, then flip to the other side. Once they’re nice and crisp on both sides remove from heat onto a plate with some paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Repeat process until all of your sweet potato medallions have a beautiful golden brown coating.

Putting it all together: Somewhat similar to lasagna layering, spoon some sauce into the bottom of a prepared medium-sized baking dish. Next, make a layer of sweet potato followed by more sauce, a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, and repeat…Once you’ve finished layering cap it off with any remaining sauce, the mozzarella, and leftover bread crumbs for the perfect cheesy topping!

Bake, uncovered, in your preheated oven for 40 minutes, then take out and enjoy! Seconds may be requested…

Serves 4

Total cook time…1 hour 10 min

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