So, I’m “stuck” in Florida with my sister as Hurricane Sandy hits at home. A few extra days with my sis and brother-in-law is not a bad thing, except that it throws my blogging off schedule. This post is brought to you from Pensacola, FL, with photos my dear husbanders was kind enough to put into Dropbox for me before the internet went out at home.
In any case, I believe that good dinner parties start with a cocktail and good appetizers. Unfortunately, too often appetizers are a mere afterthought because all of the effort is expended on the main course. How many times have you relied on cheese and crackers or chips and dip to lead your guests into the main course? I know I’ve done it too many times. A soft cheese, a hard cheese, some olives and crackers and we’re good to go right? Sure, it will do, but I’m on a mission to amp up some of my appetizers. They still need to be quick, easy, and definitely make ahead friendly. So, when we had a couple of friends over for dinner a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try something new. I drew my inspiration from a recipe for charcuterie cones I saw in the November issue of Food & Wine magazine by Dante de Magistris.
I used this recipe twice in two days, first for our dinner party, then as a football party snack. I got compliments from both crowds. The pickled radicchio offsets the rich soppressata leaving you satisfied but not too heavy. The flavor contrast is also unexpected, tanginess from the apple cider vinegar, creaminess of the cheese and the savory soppressata. It’s easy to make this a few hours ahead as long as you keep these covered and refrigerated so the soppressata doesn’t dry out or sweat. I was so excited about making and serving these that I forgot to take pictures of the final product all rolled up! This one is definitely a keeper for future parties, I just hope I don’t over use the recipe!
1 small head of radicchio
½ cup apple cider vinegar
approx. ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
approx. 2-3 oz of creamy cheese, I used low-fat Laughing Cow, but the original recipe I read recommended goat cheese
24 thin slices of soppressata
Slice the radicchio into shreds.
In a small bowl, toss the radicchio with the apple cider vinegar and let the radicchio pickle at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
Spread a small amount of cheese on the individual slices of soppressata.
Top each round with a small amount of radicchio (about a tablespoon or so) then top with a 1-2 pieces of sun-dried tomatoes.
Roll the soppressata up and secure with a toothpick. (Sorry, no pics of my version in final form, but click here for the Food & Wine version made by Ample Bites) These go quickly, so I recommend planning on at least 4-5 pieces per person as an appetizer.