I used to really not be an appetizer person. I generally took a strong “Don’t spoil your dinner!” stance on the appetizer vs. dive-right-into-the-meal debate. I also (let’s be honest) have a hard time pulling a whole meal together and getting it all on the table at one time: main dish, side dish, salad, etc. It is still beyond me to get all those components ready at the same time. Adding one more element just always seemed a little like overkill.
Then I had an important revelation: if I make an appetizer, then I buy myself a little more time. Nobody is grouchy while hungrily awaiting their food, and I get some wiggle room in terms of getting dinner on the table.
I’m not saying this happens every night I make dinner — ha! — but I have come to appreciate the power of putting out veggies and hummus, or whatever, when we have people over and I am still frantically cooking (this does happen quite a bit).
A couple of weekends ago we went away with some friends to their lakehouse and Emily and I made an appetizer to tie us all over before dinner. This is a SUPER easy one that we adapted from the recipe section of the Whole Foods website. Use whatever cheese you think you’d like — preferably something that melts nicely — the original recipe calls for brie, which I don’t like (!).
Baked Apple & Cheese Toasts
Adapted from WholeFoodsMarket.com
- 3 tart apples, cored and sliced into eighths (we used Pink Lady apples, my favorites)
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 (350-gram) chunk smoked Gouda, sliced into 24 pieces
- 24 baguette slices
Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss apple slices with melted butter and brown sugar. Bake apples until are tender, about 20 minutes.
Arrange Gouda evenly over the bread slices and top with the apple slices. If desired, broil 1 to 2 minutes until cheese is just melted. Serve immediately.