Spruce up your holiday entertaining table with a bit of color this year—by adding leafy greens to the menu! Keep your finger foods festive and fun while including a dash of healthy vegetables in the spread. These holiday appetizer ideas showcase leafy greens in some of our time-treasured seasonal classics.
These recipe ideas are meant to be adaptable for whatever leafy green vegetables you like—kale, collards, turnip greens, Swiss chard, spinach, mustard greens, dandelion greens, spinach … So enjoy these cooking suggestions a template for inventing new recipes that can become your very own holiday treasures.
1. Leafy greens artichoke dip. Spinach artichoke what?! Silly to think how easy it is to take this classic everybody-adores appetizer and just substitute in any other leafy green. Whatever greens you sub in for spinach in your recipe, remember that cooked greens are best—so steam, sauté, or blanch your greens before mixing them into the dip. Typical mix-ins for the artichoke dip formula include sour cream, mayonnaise, grated cheeses, seasonings like garlic or parsley, and yes, artichokes (typically canned and drained). Mix it all up and bake until bubbly.
2. Leafy greens hummus. Make your fave hummus recipe according to directions, and simply add chopped leafy greens of choice to the food processor while you blend the whole thing up. Try starting with ½ cup chopped greens for a low-commitment, or go for the glory and add up to an entire small bunch of chopped greens.
3. Leafy greens sushi. Who said that sushi can’t be served at holiday parties? It’s finger food at its most elegant, without any of the heavy cheeses or cured meats you’ll normally find in appetizers. So go ahead and learn to roll your own vegetable sushi this season and you can include any leafy greens in the filling. Cooked, chopped greens are good to use as the innermost filling, or you can use large raw leaves as another sheet layer on top of the rice to place fillings over before you roll.
4. Mini quiches with leafy greens. Mini quiches need no introduction, holiday party or not. To zest up these cheesy bites with a dose of leafy greens, try this: Cut out rounds of pie dough and press into oiled mini muffin trays. Cook down a few bunches of leafy greens of choice, then chop finely and squeeze out the excess moisture. Combine with quiche filling (eggs, cheese, herbs, what have you), and pour into the prepared muffin trays. Bake until puffed and irresistible. (Make this a crustless version by omitting the pie dough and just baking the egg filling in pre-oiled muffin trays.)
5. Green chips ‘n’ dip. Holiday party, meet kale chips. Or Swiss chard chips, or collards chips, or … you get the picture. Try a baked leafy green chip recipe, and serve a giant bowl alongside a zesty dip—perhaps a lemon yogurt dip or a white bean hummus. For the green-leaning crowd, set out a few bowls of different “green chips” and see which is the biggest hit with your guests.
Image adapted from InternetMediaNow, Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0