This is such a luscious time of year! The stone fruits, the bountiful green vegetables piled up at roadside stands and farmer’s markets – they beckon to us to cook for ourselves and enjoy the sensual pleasure of creating something delicious. It’s a great time to invite a few friends over for a drink, and whip up some hors d’oeuvres out of all this irresistible produce. (By the way, “hors d’oeuvres” is one of the hardest words to spell, and it never gets any easier. I would prefer to call them canapés, but that sounds like something Nick and Nora Charles would have served in one of the Thin Man movies.) Here are two easy and fresh hors d’oeuvres (sigh…) recipes that can be put together in just a couple of minutes.
Whatever you want to call these things, they’re pretty good.
- Leaving skin on, slice peaches into one-inch slices.
- Wrap a piece of prosciutto around the peach slice several times, and wrap a basil leaf across the top.
- Fix basil and prosciutto to peach slice with a cocktail skewer. Serve.
- Prep time: ten minutes
- 4 ripe peaches (ripe nectarines are just as good)
- ¼ pound prosciutto
- fresh basil leaves, washed and patted dry
Prep time: 30 minutes, 90 minutes total time (vegetables can be made several days in advance; after marinating, skewers can be assembled in just a few minutes)
- 2 summer squash or zucchini, cut into 3-inch by 1-inch slices
- 2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers, cut into 3-inch by 1-inch slices
- 4 oz. bocconcini mozzarella
- 4 Tablespoons virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 12 rosemary skewers, 5 inches long with rosemary left on top inch of skewers (these are easily made from sprigs of rosemary: strip a 5-inch rosemary sprig of all but the topmost leaves and they become natural skewers that add flavor to the hors d’oeuvres)
- Reserve leaves from rosemary stripped off stems and chop roughly.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
- Place squash and peppers on baking sheet, skin side up on peppers, and spread in a single layer.
- Drizzle with ½ Tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper and a sprinkle a little of the loose rosemary.
- Roast until tender, 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly and remove skin from peppers.
- Whisk garlic, vinegar and 3 Tablespoons of oil in a large bowl and add salt, pepper and a teaspoon of loose rosemary.
- Add vegetables and cheese and allow to marinate for at least one hour.
- Drain vegetables and bocconcini, then spear on rosemary skewers. Serve.