3 Low-FODMAP Holiday Appetizer Recipes!
This is an epic post, so I'm keepin' the chit-chat short!
You want beautiful, delish appetizers to serve at holiday parties, but the FODMAP Diet means you're stuck with carrot sticks, right? Wrong, sister!
Here are 3 fun, drool-worthy and totally tasty apps you can make to create a whole meal of small plates or take with you to a holiday gathering.
What's on the menu:
Eggplant Caponata: A tangy-sweet topper for crackers or crostini that's easier and healthier than the traditional version (Read the recipe headnote to see how it morphs into an amazing pasta sauce too!)
Crostini with Prosciutto, Mozzarella, and Sage Butter: I adapted this from a favorite Italian restaurant. It is my go-to appetizer, and I love it.
Steak and Blue Cheese Bites with Grape-Red Wine Sauce: The grape sauce is savory and so easy. Trust me on this one.
Ready? Let's do this!
Eggplant Caponata (Low-FODMAP)
If you have leftover caponata, here’s an insanely good way to use it as a pasta sauce: Cook spaghetti according to package directions and reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water before draining spaghetti. Toss hot spaghetti with caponata (for each 2-oz serving of pasta, use about ⅓ cup caponata), adding pasta water as needed to loosen caponata and create a sauce. Add any additions you want - I used Italian tuna and steamed Swiss chard, plus parmesan.
Makes about 3 cups (1 serving = ½ cup)
1 ¼ lb eggplant, chopped into 1-inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 packed cup drained roasted red bell peppers (from jar), chopped into ½-inch pieces
⅓ cup green or kalamata olives (or a mix), chopped
2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
⅓ cup water
8 to 10 basil leaves, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Mist foil with cooking spray and add eggplant. Coat eggplant with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Roast until lightly browned and very tender, tossing once or twice, 25 to 30 min.
2. Remove leek’s tough outer leaves and trim off a couple inches from the top. Chop remaining green (and light green if desired) parts to total about 1 cup chopped and wash thoroughly (discard white part).
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add leeks, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Add roasted peppers, olives, capers, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice; stir to combine. Stir in roasted eggplant and water and bring to a simmer. Simmer on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces and flavors blend, about 5 minutes (mixture will be thick, but you don’t need to reduce liquid completely).
4. Remove from heat. Stir in about half the basil and check seasoning. Serve with sourdough bread, gluten-free crackers or endive leaves. Garnish with remaining basil. May be made up to 3 days ahead; cover and refrigerate. Serve warm or at room temp.
Crostini with Prosciutto, Mozzarella and Sage Butter (Low-FODMAP)
Traditional, slow-rise sourdough bread is low-FODMAP because the fermentation process consumes the fructans (aka FODMAPs) in the wheat. If the bread contains yeast or enzymes, this doesn't apply because they're added to speed up the fermentation process.
Makes 24 (1 serving = 3 pieces)
24 ¼-inch slices sourdough baguette (or low-FODMAP bread of choice)
4 to 5 oz prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces
5 to 6 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp butter
14 sage leaves, finely sliced (chiffonade)
1. Preheat broiler to high and position rack in the center of the oven (not too close to broiler). Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray. Place bread on foil and mist with cooking spray. Broil until light golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes, turning about halfway through (watch carefully, they burn fast!).
2. Top bread with enough prosciutto pieces to mostly cover it, then top with mozzarella. Season with black pepper. Return to broiler and cook until cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. In a medium skillet, melt the butter on just-above-medium heat. Add sage and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until sage is crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer crostini to a serving plate. Drizzle the butter and bits of sage (you may have some leftover) over the crostini and serve.
Steak & Blue Cheese Bites with Grape-Red Wine Sauce (Low-FODMAP)
Any cut of steak you like that can be sliced into thin strips will work in this recipe. Buy the larger amount if you’ll be trimming extra fat, like on a NY Strip for example. I like the slightly milder flavor of Gorgonzola, but choose any blue cheese that’s not overly crumbly works great.
Serves 8 (1 serving= 3 pieces)
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb NY Strip, top sirloin or flank steak, trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
5 oz gorgonzola or other blue cheese, cut into ½-inch chunks
Grape-Red Wine Sauce (recipe follows)
1. Prepare a grill. Bring steak to room temp, mist with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Cook to desired doneness (time depends on thickness and cut of steak), 140F on an instant-read thermometer for medium-rare. Rest 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Cutting against the grain, slice steak approximately 1/8-inch thick. Wrap each piece around a piece of cheese and skewer onto a toothpick. Serve with grape-red wine sauce.
Grape-Red Wine Sauce
Dream up other ways to use this sauce...how about on a sandwich or paired with other cheeses?
Serves 8 (1 serving=2 tbsp)
1 lb red seedless grapes
¼ cup red wine
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Add grapes to a medium saucepan. Add just enough water to thinly cover the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer. Simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until grapes releases their juices and begin to soften and break down, about 20 minutes.
2. Add wine and balsamic vinegar. Continue simmering until sauce is thick and grapes are very soft, 10 to 15 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temp.