This simple appetizer is always a hit when I serve it. The recipe comes from an aunt of mine who lives in Genova, Liguria. It seemed to me an unusual combination but when I tasted it I changed my mind these two simple ingredients complement each other.
My appetizer recipes
Appetizers are a great way to start off a meal. Here are some of my Italian appetizer recipes:
Bresaola is a salted and seasoned beef, air-dried and aged for about 2-3 months. It’s produced in Valtellina, a valley in the Alps of northern Italy’s Lombardy region. To make sure you’re buying the real product check if it has the trademark IGP “Protected Geographical Indication”. The color should be a brilliant uniform red, there [...]
Bresaola is produced in Val Tellina, in the Northern part of Lombardy region. It is seasoned and air dried beef. It has unique taste and flavor and usually it’s not eaten alone. When you buy it check that has the trademark IGP and make sure it is cut really thin otherwise it won’t taste right. [...]
The first time I tasted this dish was in a restaurant in Calabria and I practically ate the whole serving tray by myself. I asked the owner what the ingredients were and he told me potatoes, bell peppers and tomatoes, but if you tasted it you would have thought there was a secret ingredient. I [...]
This is the appetizer of all Italian appetizers. It can be found anywhere in Italy during the summer time. The secret is in the quality of the cured ham and the sweetness of the cantaloupe. When you find a butcher or a specialty food store that has the ham, you have to make sure that [...]
Easter changes its date every year but the dishes we eat are always the traditional ones that have often symbolic meanings. Casatiello is one of them. From the Neapolitan cuisine it’s well known in the South of Italy. There are many versions of it and some of them resemble the Tortano but the one I [...]
A classic Italian appetizer more common in the North of our peninsula where Gongonzola cheese is produced. I’m a Gongonzola cheese lover, but if you’ve never tasted it I suggest you to try it before preparing this recipe. Gorgonzola has a characteristic taste and a distinctive flavor and for some of you it could be [...]
This appetizer is a sweet and sour dish: chicken served in a lemon-vinegar syrupy sauce sweetened with raisins. It’s quick to make and is best if prepared one day in advance.
This appetizer is a specialty from Tuscany, it usually has a stronger taste but this recipe is more delicate. Even someone who doesn’t really care for liver will enjoy this version. I assure you that when you start eating it it will be very difficult to stop.
This is a typical Tuscan appetizer which is perfect to serve with ribollita or pasta and chickpea soup. It‘s also a good match with another well known Tuscan appetizer, crostini with liver spread. You can finish your Tuscan dinner in glory with a castagnaccio (chestnut cake). This is the kind of appetizer you can prepare [...]
This is a wonderful eggplant appetizer that I learned to prepare on my vacation in Calabria in the South of Italy. Even if you don’t like eggplants this is a recipe to try. When I make them people rarely guess that it is eggplant. You can prepare the eggplants the day before then refrigerate them [...]
This is a cold dish, perfect for the summer time and a typical appetizer for the winter. I learned this recipe a long time ago from a lady that lived close to Rome, but I doubt that the origin is roman. Kids love it, at least my sister and I did when we were kids. We used to prepare it when my mom and dad were away and we ate it all at once.
Farinata is a typical appetizer from Liguria that goes well all year long. You can often find it in bread stores as well as the focaccia Ligure. It’s a simple preparation of chickpea flour and oil.
If you want to surprise your guest with something different this is the right appetizer: puff pastry wrappers filled with feta cheese. It’s quick, easy and really tasty. Be careful you can become addicted to them! This is also a good recipe to make with your kids or for kids.
Fried sage looks like a fancy entree often served in parties accompanied by tempura vegetables, but in reality it’s the simplest and easiest appetizer you can prepare. I planted a quality of sage with big leaves in my garden to prepare this appetizer but you can use any kind of sage. I like to serve [...]
A real eye opener for your guests. There’s no summer for me without fried zucchini flowers and I’m sure that if you’ll try them you won’t be able to resist them either. There are different recipes for the batter some people add egg or milk or both. I like it simple and I often make [...]
Bruschetta is a classic from the Tuscany region. It’s eaten manly as an appetizer but also as a snack. The original preparation consists of grilled bread rubbed with a clove of garlic and then topped with extra virgin olive oil. There are some variations to this classic like adding ripe tomatoes cut in cubes, capers [...]
This is a super simple, but classic way to cook bell peppers, especially in the summer.
Insalata russa is a cold appetizer originally from Russia that became a staple of Italian cuisine. Made with vegetables like potatoes, peas, carrots, green beans, pickles and combined with mayonnaise it’s a wonderful appetizer.
Bell peppers, zucchini and eggplants, summer vegetables always present on our table. This dish can be served as an antipasto or as a side dish for your barbecue.
This is a classic Italian recipe from the Campania region (Naples) that is just delicious. If you like fried cheeses then you’ll really enjoy this dish. They can also be served as a main course accompanied by a green salad.
Pizzelle from the Neapolitan tradition are small fried pizzas served with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella or provolone cheese. Not to be confused for the pizzelle from Abbruzzo which are a sort of sweet waffle cookie, also called ferratelle.
This is what comes to mind when one talks about dipping oil. Pinzimonio is an oil preparation we use for dipping raw vegetables. It takes just a few minutes to make and it’s very good. I serve it with a varieties of fresh vegetables cut in strips such as carrots, celery, red or yellow bell [...]
This is an easy to make appetizer that is always a hit. It uses puff pastry for the dough so as to give this appetizer a more delicate consistency compared to the normal pizza dough. I prepare pizzette very often for my guests and they always think that I bought them. The secret is to [...]
I love summer it’s my favorite season of the year for all its sweet and colorful fruit. I have my own garden that flourishes with every possible kind of vegetable, but there’s not enough space to have my own fruit trees and plants. I don’t particularly regret it though, because I’m blessed with wonderful neighbors [...]
I adore zucchini flowers. They’re are a symbol of summer with their brilliant and warm colors, just gazing at them makes my day happy. They have a delicate but distinctive taste, and are suitable to many preparations. I often make simple fried zucchini flowers especially when I have guests or risotto with zucchini flowers a [...]
Smoked salmon is often eaten during Christmas season and this is one of the classic appetizers served during the holidays. In our family we usually prepare it on the main festivities, Christmas’s eve, Christmas Day or New Years’ eve.
Shrimps and arugula are the main ingredients of this tasty dish but you’ll be surprised by the combination of the flavors. Last but not least also the presentation could be choreographic served on a lettuce leave maybe placed on a christal glass.
I don’t know how “Italian” this recipe is, but it is something Italians make often so I wanted to include it in the site. It takes just a couple of minutes and it’s so good whenever you have some jumbo shrimp on hand this is a great recipe. I don’t know if they are available in your area but I usually use “Black Tiger” shrimp.
For hot summers this is a real refreshing alternative. I don’t remember a summer of my entire life without these stuffed tomatoes. They taste better if prepared ahead of time so the flavors blend well. I usually prepare extra tuna-fish sauce in case I have unexpected guests.
Tartine is the perfect appetizer for every occasion, loved by adults and adored by children. There are many versions of tartine from the most simple to the most fancy and refined ones. These particular ones are often prepared in our family and I can assure you once they appear on the table they’ll gone in minutes.
This is a nice twist on the classic Garlic Bruschetta. It’s a refreshing appetizer especially during the summer season. You can prepare bruschette as a side dish for your barbecues, it’ll be a hit for sure and you can snack on them while you’re grilling.
Ripe tomatoes filled with creamy goat cheese, diced tomatoes and flavored with fresh herbs like chives, basil, arugula or spiced up with Calabrian red hot chili pepper. The combinations are endless but it’s important to find the right cheese. In Italian this particular goat cheese is called, “caprino” and you can find it in most [...]
Delicate tuna-fish balls enriched with ricotta and Parmesan cheese. They can be served as an appetizer but also as a main course accompanied by green salad. Take care when frying them as they will tend to fall apart.
This is a salad that I often serve as an appetizer but it could be easily a light alternative for your main course. The Parmesan basket certainly gives a special touch to your appetizer presentation and it’s also good to nibble while tasting the salad.
Zucchini in carpione are zucchini marinated in vinegar and wine, it’s a tasty appetizer from the Piedmont region. My auntie taught me how to make this dish during my last visit there. There are different versions of this recipe with slight differences. It’s usually prepared early in the morning and ready to be served in [...]
Zucchini rolls with chive and ricotta cream – rotolini di zucchini ripieni di ricotta ed erba cipollina
Zucchini is a delicious and versatile vegetable to have in the garden, but if you ever plant them you will quickly discover that the plants produce an enormous amount of fruit. My relationship with them always starts out pleasantly with zucchini flowers and the first small delicate zucchini. It’s a wonderful time of year with [...]