Christmas aperitifs, the finger food way…

Treats for a Christmas aperitif at home (simple finger-food recipes, ideal for the festive season!)
December is the time par excellence for celebrations. It’s a magic time, a time of sparkling lights and the glints of tinsel adornments… and sparkling wines! Our schedules are full of appointment to keep, for exchanging greetings and gifts, or just to say ‘see you soon’ as we each leave for our separate vacation destinations!

Waiting for Christmas together with our loved ones. Taking a break from the bustle of daily life, and making time for a home-made aperitif.
Sitting at a table, laden with treats to share, with our stories to tell, plans to describe, emotions. Do we not find here the meaning of life? How much sweeter it all will be, when shared with good friends!
Why not organize a Christmas aperitif around your own hearth? It’s easier than you think! You don’t need to be a top-class chef. Just tune into the mood of the day and – perhaps − pick up some advice along the way! Such as….
brindisi con amici

Ingredient number 1: the pleasures of togetherness

A warmly welcoming atmosphere, feeling at ease with ourselves and our guests – and we’re already off to a great start! By the way that means you! Feeling at ease with yourself means knowing it’s all working out fine. So don’t think otherwise − because if you do, it’s more likely something will go wrong! Organize things ahead of the date and then just enjoy this special occasion, when you at last have a chance to focus on quite simply enjoying the company of your loved ones.

So what’s our advice? Don’t go in for complicated things that mean you have to get up from the table every five minutes or so, just to make sure nothing boils over or burns. Choose simple recipes and do everything you can before your guests arrive. Go for small tempting treats, perhaps finger-food style. That shouldn’t take up too much of your time and energy.

Snacking as we converse!

Why not organize a buffet aperitif, where everyone’s free to choose what tempts them most?
Delicious canapés, sophisticated vol-au-vents, small bowls with accompaniments in olive oil, cheese cubes, ‘mini-rustici’ savory puff-pastry or shortcrust treats, savory muffins, ‘pinzimonio’ raw vegetable dip served with EVO, vegetables fresh from the garden plot.
Original Christmas-style treats to amaze our guests!
Finger food Natale

Festive canapés

Canapés are very much a part of what Christmas get-togethers are all about, with the added advantage that they’re easy (and fun) to prepare, leaving plenty of room for your imagination and inventiveness. Canapés are flavor but they’re also shapes. Before toasting your white sliced bread, why not use a biscuit cutter (various shapes might be appropriate, such as a star, a Christmas tree or a Father Christmas boot).

  • Stars: spread on some Walnut Sauce, add a dash of extra-savory gorgonzola cheese, a slender slice of ‘bresaola’ cured raw beef, folded over, and a toothpick to hold it all down. Otherwise, make it a mini-star sandwich, with another toasted star slice on top.
  • Christmas trees: first spread on some classic pesto or garlic-free pesto (Pesto Sauce or Garlic-free Pesto Sauce), add a drop or two of Pesto Rosso Sauce and stoned olive pieces which shall stand in for the baubles on a real tree. Some of the trees might be a brighter green and others might be paler (here, you could use Artichoke Spread, as your background tone).
  • Father Christmas boots: you can make them red using Dried Tomato Spread, add capers as buttons and fresh ricotta cheese for the white top. If going back to the oven for a second session is not asking too much from you, you might want to turn these canapés into pizzette, or small pizzas, using our Basil Tomato sauce and a touch of mozzarella cheese.
tartine di Natale

Making a (tasty) treat of your Christmas tree

This is a time when we’re all “getting the tree ready”! But tonight you’ll invite friends round to “demolish your ‘tree’”, tasting it little by little (one ‘bauble’ leads on to the next!).

Why not try this?
  • Get 24 or even 30 small milk bread rolls.
  • Add various flavors such as salmon, tuna fillet, salami, ham, cheese or vegetables, perhaps also adding our Mayonnaise and Tuna sauce made using olive oil.
  • Arrange the rolls in a large bowl or on a cutting board to make a silhouette of a Christmas tree. It might be easier if you fill in a large triangle inside, with sides consisting in more or less 5 and 7 rolls, and at the foot 1 or 2 rolls, and perhaps as an adornment 3 rolls on top.
  • If you’re a keen cook, you might prefer, instead of the milk bread rolls, to use choux pastries, with a mousse of, say, cheese, ‘mortadella’ (Bologna sausage), tuna, avocado pear, salmon, olives, mushrooms or capers… If you like the idea of pastries, but you’re a bit short for time, why not buy the pastries out and then add the dressings you like most?
Albero diNatale da mangiare

A gourmet’s wreath

Sometimes the very look of the treats you provide will attest to your success as a caterer! Here’s another fabulous idea that cannot fail to impress! After all, catering means more than just providing good food. Consider the elegance (and the magic, even!) of an edible ‘wreath’, included as a centerpiece for your table. A charming centerpiece, and a rare treat for all your guests!

  • Pick up some leafy olive branches (not twigs, nor should they be too long and cumbersome), of a length of about 30 cm. You might prefer rosemary, the traditional pine or some other evergreen, or perhaps a combination of these plants.
  • After washing and drying these branches, weave them onto a wire circle; you might make the circle out of a wire clothes hanger (after removing the top hook extremity).
  • When you’ve finished your wreath and placed it on a large round plate, you can now add Stoned Olives, water buffalo ‘mozzarella’ cheese pieces, Stuffed Chili Peppers), small smoked ‘scamorza’ cheese pieces and artichoke hearts.
Further finger food treats to add to your buffet: Pirottini di Tonno (a tuna and potato soufflé specialty) and Mini quiche Ratatuia (mini ratatouille quiche), cut into small single portions.
ghirlanda da preparare

A toast under the mistletoe!

For your festive season toasts, we recommend Prosecco di Valdobbiadene DOCG, an extra dry sparkling white wine noted for its aromatic freshness, fruity fragrant notes and magnificent perlage!
The ideal serving temperature is 8-10°C in a flute champagne glass.

Have we forgotten anything? Yes! Our own greetings!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

Anyone for dessert?

We recommend traditional desserts such as, in Italy, regional specialties – ‘pandolce alla Genovese’ (a Genoa-style cake) and the immensely popular ‘panettone’ and ‘pandoro’ cakes (our own Panettone and Pandoro versions include extra virgin olive oil). You may wish to serve them with home-made custard or a chocolate spread – or our own velvety Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread.

With time on your hands, you might decide to bake some pain d’épices, a spicy treat whose flavor reflects the warmth of festive season get-togethers!
brindisi di Natale