Autumnal appetizers to add to your fall menu

    Autumn is in the air! What better way to celebrate than with a couple of quick and creative appetizers? These recipes focus on some of the lesser celebrated, but equally delicious, autumn ingredients. Ingredients like artichokes and dates take center stage in these recipes!

    If you’re looking for quick appetizers to please your guests, then you’ve come to the right place! Everybody loves a party appetizer, but nobody wants to slave away in the kitchen to make one, which is where these crispy artichoke bites and feta and pistachio stuffed dates come in. They don’t require a lot of preparation, but they sure deliver on flavor!

    Artichoke Bites

    Photo: Jenny Lieberman

    Artichokes are sometimes forgotten during the fall season. Root vegetables like Brussel Sprouts usually receive a lot of attention while the underappreciated artichoke is left to the sidelines. To switch things up a little, and show some love to this star vegetable, we are focusing all of our attention on artichokes for this recipe. These artichoke bites are a healthier take on a breaded and fried appetizer. Rather than frying the artichokes, we are baking them in the oven to achieve that same crunchy exterior while keeping a soft artichoke interior.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cans of artichoke hearts
    • 1 tbsp oil
    • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
    • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp dried herbs
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • Marinara sauce of choice, for dipping

    Directions:

    1. Place your canned artichoke hearts on a plate and pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess water or oil that the artichokes were sitting in.
    2. Meanwhile, mix together the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, dried herbs, and pepper in a bowl.
    3. Spread the oil over the artichoke hearts to coat them. Working one by one, add the artichokes to the breadcrumb mixture to coat the entire exterior of the artichoke. Repeat with the rest of the artichokes. Spread on a pan and roast at 400F for 16 minutes, flipping halfway. Serve with some marinara sauce and enjoy!

    Feta and Pistachio-Stuffed Dates

    Photo: Jenny Lieberman

    This recipe, if you can even call it that, proves that simple can be both delicious and creative. If you have five ingredients and five minutes or less then you have some drool-worthy feta and pistachio stuffed dates. The salty and slightly tangy feta contrasts the sweet caramel-like Medjool dates to create the sweet and salty flavor we all know and love. To top it all off the crushed pistachios give a nice crunch to deliver on both flavor and texture.

    This recipe makes 16 stuffed date halves, but beware, your guests won’t be able to stop at just one. Feel free to double the recipe to feed the hungry mouths of your stuffed date-loving guests!

    Ingredients:

    • 8 Medjool dates
    • 4 ounces feta cheese
    • ¼ cup chopped pistachios
    • Handful of parsley

    Directions:

    1. Remove the pits from the dates and split the dates in half lengthwise.
    2. Fill each date half with enough feta cheese to completely line the interior of the date.
    3. Sprinkle on some chopped pistachios and parsley.

    **If making this dish in advance these can be served straight from the fridge or at room temperature, just make sure not to leave these out in the sun to prevent the cheese from melting!

    Jenny Lieberman is a recipe developer, certified group fitness instructor, and recent high school graduate from Boca Raton, FL. She loves all things health and wellness, so you will probably find her looking up the newest food and fitness trends. She is currently on a gap year program at Midreshet Torah v’Avodah (MTVA) in Jerusalem, Israel. Jenny will be attending the University of Maryland, College Park, starting Fall 2021. You can follow Jenny on her Instagram healthy food account (@toomuchonmyplate_) to see more of her recipes!