When it comes to entertaining, we’re firm believers in using good ingredients and preparing them in elegant yet simple ways. For a dinner party, you won’t find us breaking out any super complicated techniques or fussy presentations—we’d rather spend time hanging with our guests and eating, of course. One of our favorite parts of any meal (and dinner parties in particular) are the appetizers. With so much room for creativity, variety, and deliciousness, it’s hard to go wrong. To make things as easy as possible, we came up with a few of our favorite app recipes. The best part? They’re all just one ingredient. One and done.
A lighter yet still crisp and crunchy alternative to the deep-fried potato chip, kale chips are one of our much-loved and ridiculously easy appetizers. Feel free to customize the seasonings based on your taste preferences, or stick to basic salt and pepper.
Blistered Shishito Peppers
This East Asian pepper variety is easy to prepare and very addictive. While most shishitos are very mild, some can be deceptively spicy. If you’ve got a little extra time, serve your shishitos with a side of Sriracha mayo: Mayo + Sriracha = Happiness.
6-8 ounces shishito peppers
Heat a skillet under the broiler or over high heat. While skillet heats, toss shishitos in a large bowl with 1–2 tablespoons olive oil and liberally sprinkle over salt. The peppers should be well coated. When the skillet is very hot (carefully hover your hand over it, you should be able to easily feel the heat), add your shishitos, tossing, as they sizzle. Transfer pan to broiler or over medium-high heat and cook shishitos without moving for a few minutes to char. Continue cooking, tossing occasionally, until blistered and lightly charred all over, 5–6 minutes. Then, remove from pan, and add another healthy sprinkle of salt. Serve hot with or without your Sriracha mayo.
We can never get enough of the crisp yet creamy texture of roasted chickpeas. These golden goodies have found their way into many of our recipes, as a garnish, a hit of protein, or even as a star component. We always find ourselves snacking on any extras left behind in the kitchen, so why not make a whole batch just for snacking?
2 cups chickpeas
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
Spices such as dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried oregano (optional)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Rinse chickpeas, drain, and pat very dry with paper towel. On a baking sheet, toss chickpeas with olive oil, .5 teaspoon salt, pepper, and spices as desired. Arrange chickpeas in a single layer and roast until crisp and golden, 16–20 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt, if needed.
Cheers to the easiest appetizer of all time: olives. Combine varieties such as Castelvetrano, Cerignola, and Manzanilla with other types stuffed with things like cheese and pimento. Add a few crackers and maybe some cheese to the mix, and you’re good to go. Could not be easier. Or saltier.
We’re not sure why, but artichokes manage to be insanely simple to prepare and make for a very elegant appetizer. Serve with a little melted butter on the side.
Artichokes (one per person)
Butter for dipping (optional)
Fill a pot halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat (make sure all your artichokes will fit in the pot before you fill it). While the water heats up, rinse the artichokes and trim off the large stem so that they will stand up. Trim off the top inch of each artichoke and the top half inch of the leaves. Stand the artichokes in the water, reduce heat to a simmer, and use a lid to submerge them fully. Cook until tender when pierced with a knife tip, 20–40 minutes.
Homemade Tortilla Chips
Tortilla chips are a store-bought staple for many people, but we love the flavor and process of making them at home. Plus, it’s really (really) easy. If you’re feeling fancy, serve with guac, salsa, or sprinkle over some spices halfway through baking.