Perfect for any New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day gathering, these tasty bites offer a twist on the typical preparation of traditionally lucky appetizers.
Roasted Grape Crostini with Lemon Ricotta and Thyme
Courtesy of The Fresh Market
Consuming 12 grapes when the clock strikes midnight is a New Year’s tradition in Spain, Portugal and many Latin American countries. Each grape represents a month in the year ahead — sweet grapes mean that month will be good while sour grapes signify an unlucky month. Add this appetizer to your party spread as a nod to this tradition.
• 3 cups Gum Drop Grapes or Black Seedless Grapes
• 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for crostini
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serving
• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
• 1/2 heaping teaspoon lemon zest
• 1 Rustic French Batard, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
• Flaky sea salt, for serving
• Honey, for serving
Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl, combine grapes, olive oil and thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread out into an even layer on sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes. While grapes roast, combine ricotta and lemon zest in a small bowl. Season with a good pinch of salt and several cranks of the pepper mill; stir to combine. Once grapes are finished roasting, remove from oven and set aside to cool; decrease heat to 350° F. Place baguette slices on a separate sheet pan and drizzle generously with olive oil. Bake until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes. To assemble the crostini, spread each baguette slice with ricotta, top with roasted grapes, sprinkle with flaky sea salt, freshly ground pepper, a drizzle of honey and fresh thyme leaves.
Florida Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms
Courtesy of Fresh From Florida
A typical southern meal on New Year’s Day includes greens and pork, which symbolize wealth and prosperity respectively. Serve these stuffed mushrooms at your New Year’s Eve party for a head start on your 2020 luck.
• 1 pound Florida mushrooms
• 4 cups fresh Florida spinach
• 5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
• 1/2 onion, diced fine
• 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
• 6 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• Oil, for cooking
• Pinch of red pepper flakes
• Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook bacon until crispy and drain on paper towel (reserve 1/4 cup of bacon drippings). Coarsely crumble bacon. Heat 2 teaspoons reserved bacon drippings in skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and allow to cool. Mix in bacon, spinach, feta, cream cheese and crushed red pepper. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss mushrooms and remaining bacon fat in large bowl to coat and season with salt and pepper. Place mushrooms, rounded side down, on baking sheet and bake until centers fill with liquid (about 15 minutes). Turn mushrooms over and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven, fill with spinach mixture, and return to oven for additional
7 minutes. Transfer to platter and serve warm.
Even More Ideas!
Crab cakes are a tasty appetizer option for any party; however, crabs are considered an unlucky ingredient for the New Year. So swap out the shellfish for salmon and serve with a remoulade sauce and a squeeze of lemon. Many cultures consume fish for luck because their scales resemble coins and they swim forward, representing progress.
It’s Italian tradition to prepare lentils as the year begins because their resemblance to Roman coins represents wealth and prosperity. Serve a lucky twist on hummus using cooked, cooled lentils in place of chickpeas.
Baked Brie with Pomegranate
In Turkey and Greece, pomegranates represent life and fertility due to their vibrant color, and their many seeds symbolize prosperity. Party guests will love the balance of a sweet pomegranate, honey and pecan mixture on top of a savory baked brie.
Pulled Pork Crescent Ring
To celebrate the year coming full circle, ring-shaped foods are consumed to bring luck for the year ahead. Combine pulled pork, which symbolizes progress because pigs root forward, with barbecue sauce, cheese and red onions then bake the mixture into a crescent roll ring to knock out two lucky traditions in one.
Black Eyed Pea Dip
Another southern staple on New Year’s Day is black eyed peas. Like other beans, they’re thought to look like coins and represent expanding wealth since they expand when they cook. Include a hot, cheesy black eyed pea dip to your party spread or keep it cold by adding black eyed peas to your usual salsa recipe.