The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming – the holidays are almost here! For most of us, the “holidays” aren’t just a few single days scattered at the end of the calendar, it’s a sizeable season (I’d say at least six weeks) of planning, prepping and partying that lasts from a few days before Thanksgiving right into the New Year.
The annual parade of family and friends from near and far along with other invited and unexpected guests always creates a serious need for quick and easy appetizer recipes – nibbles that are simple yet still sophisticated, uncomplicated yet utterly drool worthy, and can be tossed together in ten minutes or less. My recipe for Blue Cheese, Pomegranate and Quinoa Caviar is an easy and elegant addition to every holiday event, whether part of an appetizer spread at a cocktail party, a prelude to a full-scale dinner party, or a little nosh to enjoy with a bottle of wine after everyone heads home!
I used some of my favorite flavors in this fast and festive holiday hors d’oeuvre recipe. Pomegranates are a treasure in my holiday fruit bowl, those little arils inside look like ruby-red jewels and taste decidedly more precious. Plus, pomegranates are one of the most antioxidant-rich fruits on the planet, so cheers to your health!
When pomegranate is paired with pleasingly pungent blue cheese and the almost nutty texture and taste of quinoa, the result is a mashup that will have mouths’ watering and running back for more. When guests “ooh” and “ahh” over the fancy presentation, it can be your little secret that the ingredients were quickly mixed up, molded and plated by way of a standard 6-ounce ramekin dish.
I have a tip to keep this a no-cook appetizer recipe – the quinoa is actually prepared in advance which takes 15 minutes plus cooling time. However, since the recipe doesn’t call for much, I always keep a pre-cooked batched in the freezer – or stow away my leftovers. That way, I can pull out however much I need for recipes like this or other side dishes and salads.
I can’t think of a more clear cut (and crunchy) way to serve this Blue Cheese, Pomegranate and Quinoa “Caviar” than topped on a nearly paper-thin cracker from 34º Crisps. These light, crispy, all-natural crackers are also an ideal sidekick to every kind of cheese imaginable, bits of roasted meats, fruit jams, hummus and more – I’ve even sandwiched gelato between two to make an ice cream sandwich!
If you have leftovers, a big spoonful or two of Blue Cheese, Pomegranate and Quinoa “Caviar” is fantastic on a salad – especially with the Pomegranate Blueberry Vinaigrette. Enjoy!
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