Italian Appetizers | The Daily Dish

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Italian Appetizers

Stuffed Mushroom Appetizer

No Comments | Written on December 10, 2014 at 5:00 am , by

It looks like I have a new go-to appetizer for holiday entertaining!

These stuffed mushroom appetizers are a bit of a trick.  They feel “meaty” yet they are completely vegetarian.  (They can even be made vegan by skipping the cheese on top.)

There is even a bit of dry white wine used in the recipe, that way the rest of the bottle can be enjoyed with you guests!

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Cannellini Bean Appetizer Spread

No Comments | Written on September 4, 2014 at 5:00 am , by

Hosting a get-together this weekend?   Time to start thinking about appetizers and small bites to offer your guests.  I love this “Cannellini Bean Appetizer Spread” because it comes together quickly and tastes even better the next day.   Whip up a batch tonight and you will be all set for the weekend!

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White Bean Bruschetta

1 Comment | Written on July 24, 2014 at 5:00 am , by

One of my favorite go-to restaurants in New York City is Mario Batali’s Otto in the Village.   It’s casual yet every dish is made with high-quality ingredients.  Best of all, it is right down the street from my sister’s apartment, so its an easy choice when we are craving Italian.

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Browned Butter Sage Crostini – Best Blogger Holiday Recipe Reader’s Choice Winner

3 Comments | Written on January 30, 2014 at 5:00 am , by

Now for the Reader’s Choice winner from our Best Blogger Holiday Recipe contest.  Congratulations to Leah Bergman from Freutcake for her Browned Butter Sage Crostini!

These elegant appetizers are impressive any time of year!

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Best Tomato Recipe Ever – Roasted Bruschetta

1 Comment | Written on July 11, 2013 at 12:00 am , by

We have a winner in our “Best Tomato Recipe Ever” contest!  This dish comes to us from “Calou347976.”  It is colorful, fresh, and highlights beautiful seasonal ingredients.  Swing by your local farmer’s market, or even your backyard garden – I guarantee you will want to try this recipe for Roasted Bruschetta!

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Best Pasta Salad Ever – Panzanella Pasta Salad

1 Comment | Written on July 4, 2013 at 5:00 am , by

Happy 4th of July Better Recipes!

As you prepare for picnics, potlucks and fireworks, this is the perfect time to share with you the winner in our “Best Pasta Salad Ever” recipe contest!  The recipe comes together quickly, and will be ready in time for all the festivities later today.  Join me in celebrating “JulesNYC” for her award-winning “Panzanella Pasta Salad.”

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Italian Wedge Salad

1 Comment | Written on June 26, 2013 at 5:00 am , by

Who wants to cook on these hot summer days?  Salads are usually the answer, and nothing is easier than a retro iceberg lettuce wedge salad.  Wedge salads are usually thought of as being smothered in dressing, with bacon,  cherry tomatoes, and maybe a sliced hard-boiled egg alongside.  How about a refreshing version with a modern Italian twist to keep your kitchen cool and tantalize your taste buds?

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Touchdown Pepperoni Bites

6 Comments | Written on February 2, 2011 at 5:00 am , by


For me, Game Day food is all about “grabbable” bites.  Those snacks you can pile up on a plate in the middle of the coffee table and everyone can reach for while watching the Super Bowl.  I also like recipes that are easy to whip up an extra batch at halftime!  These “Touchdown Pepperoni Bites” certainly fit the bill.  A pepperoni stick is wrapped in crescent dough and baked then sliced into individual bites.



8-ounce package refrigerated crescent rolls
10-inch whole pepperoni (about 1/3 pound)
1 egg yolk, beaten
Flour, to coat
For dipping:  desired mustards and/or pizza sauce

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Unroll crescent dough in one piece onto ungreased baking sheet, pressing perforations together.  Brush pepperoni with egg yolk and roll in flour.  Place coated pepperoni on prepared dough and roll up, covering pepperoni completely; tuck in ends neatly.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Slice into pieces and serve immediately with desired dipping sauces.  Makes 18-24 slices


I like to serve these with marinara sauce for a “pizza” experience.  They also taste great with a variety of mustards.  I dipped these bites into a spicy Chinese mustard, a sweet honey-mustard and a whole grain brown mustard.  All three were outstanding!


Roasted Olive And Grape Crostini

No Comments | Written on September 29, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

My favorite recipes are the ones where I hardly have to lift a finger, yet when the final dish is served it looks like I worked all day!  This Roasted Olive and Grape Crostini is no exception.  I love to make this appetizer this time of year when the grape harvest is in full swing.  Open up a bottle of your favorite wine and you have a party!

grape crostini


1-1/2 cup red seedless grapes; halved

1 cup black pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Place all ingredients in a roasting pan and toss to combine.  Roast for 40-45 minutes.

Serve warm with hot, crusty bread drizzled with olive oil, and slices of goat cheese.

Mixture can be placed in a covered container and refrigerated for a few weeks – if it lasts that long!  To warm back up, place mixture in an ovenproof dish and heat at 250 degrees for 10 minutes.

Bella Melone

2 Comments | Written on June 29, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

In the summer, there is nothing like a light and refreshing fruit salad and right now the melons are so gorgeous!  With such a wonderful piece of fruit, you don’t have to do much to make beautiful dish.  This Italian inspired recipe uses cantaloupe and watermelon and dresses it up with a bit of honey, balsamic vinegar and a dash of black pepper.  I like to serve it out of champagne flutes with a sprig of mint to add a bit of sophistication to this fantastic seasonal produce.

I love the title of this recipe, “Bella Melone” meaning “Beautiful Melon” in Italian.  The Italians have such a passion of good food and quality ingredients, it makes sense they find their fruit so beautiful!  I still remember when I was studying Italian in college and every morning my professor would greet me at the door with open arms and her full voice, “Buongiorno, mia bella Kristina!” (Of course followed by “Mia bella Amy” or “Mia bella Katie” as other students arrived!)  She began class with such happiness and warmth and I think this recipe for “Bella Melone” is the best way to start off an Italian summer meal!  Grazie mille a Professoressa Guidolti e buon appetito a tutto!

Bella Melone

2 cups chilled seeded watermelon balls

2 cups chilled seeded cantaloupe balls

1/4 cup honey

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Freshly cracked black pepper (optional)

Divide chilled watermelon and cantaloupe among 4 dessert dishes or stemless champagne flutes.  Stir together honey and balsamic vinegar and drizzle some over each serving.  If desired, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, and garnish with fresh mint sprigs.  Serves 4.