Simplicity is the hallmark of Italian appetizers. The popular easy recipes here, including savory bruschetta, pesto, and insalata caprese, could be from any rustic Italian kitchen.See Popular Italian Appetizers Recipes
In this recipe, adapted from Wine Bar Food by Tony Mantuano and his wife, Cathy, lush ricotta-filled crepes bake in a rich marinara sauce.
Elena Boroli, who co-owns the Locanda del Pilone farmhouse inn and restaurant in Piedmont, says bell peppers are the best symbol of Piedmontese cucina povera (peasant food). This simple recipe for involtini (little Italian rolls) is all about the deeply flavored, slow-roasted red bell peppers, which get wrapped around fresh ricotta cheese, and plum tomatoes.
Instead of using fresh mozzarella for this appetizer, try another fresh soft cheese, such as queso fresco or feta.
"Chorizo is so underused," says Shea Gallante. Here, he uses the spicy Spanish sausage in a savory crostini topping.
In an homage to spring, Rolando Beramendi makes these lush custards with fresh artichokes; the flavor is wonderfully vivid.
As a nod to the grape harvest, chef Ben Towill of Silkstone and The Fat Radish restaurant in New York City adds golden raisins to this tangy caponata. It's delicious on toast or with pecorino cheese.
Broiling ricotta intensifies its creaminess: It's ideal with both sweet and savory toppings. Here, Maria Helm Sinskey serves it on garlic toasts garnished with olives and a tangy sun-dried-tomato relish.
"It's a tradition for winemakers to bake bread with grapes to celebrate the harvest," says David Page. Each fall, he uses his wood-burning oven to make this crusty flatbread studded with creamy crumbled blue cheese and sweet table grapes.
In this amazing appetizer, two types of honey serve two distinct purposes: Mellow, slightly spicy clover honey intensifies the sweetness of the tangy tomatoes as they slowly roast. After the bruschetta is assembled, a drizzle of robust buckwheat honey balances the creamy ricotta cheese.
Ethan Stowell loves mussels all year round, but he's particularly fond of the plump summer ones from Washington's Puget Sound. "I often grab a couple handfuls of mussels at the end of the night and cook them at home for a late-night snack," he says. Here he flavors the briny mussels with lemon juice, fresh herbs, and speck, the salty cured ham.
Olives, capers, radishes, and anchovy add exceptional flavor to the filling in these deviled eggs.
Aromatic garlic bread, topped with mozzarella cheese, is served with a rich Italian tomato sauce for dipping.
Arancini, fried risotto balls, are a classic Italian delicacy. This version hides yummy sausage meat and fontina cheese inside the bite-sized appetizers.
These Parmesan breadsticks are a great snack with your choice of dipping sauce. Serve leftover breadsticks with soup or salad.
Andres Barrera's version of caponata, the tangy Sicilian eggplant dish, mixes in olives, zucchini, and yellow squash and is topped with shaved Asiago cheese.
Persimmons are typically reddish-orange in color. Two varieties are commonly sold in the U.S.: round fuyu, which can be eaten right away, and heart-shaped hachiya, which require ripening or cooking (when underripe, they are extremely astringent). Jason Travi wraps prosciutto around persimmon wedges and roasts them until the meat crisps and the fruit turns tender and sweet.
Melissa Rubel rolls buttery puff pastry around salty prosciutto and melty Fontina to create deeply savory hors d'oeuvres.