Whip It Good

Invest in a Food Processor for Quick and Easy Memorial Day Appetizers

By Annamarya Scaccia

food processorEntertaining some friends or family for this coming Memorial Day and need ideas for quick and easy appetizers? No problem. Invest in a food processor.

Food processors take the time and energy out creating elaborate gourmet dishes to impress your guests—especially during the holidays. With a food processor, you can whip up hassle free snacks that are delicious, light and healthy, and are sure to be a palate pleaser and party hit. Oh, and it’ll save you that ton of cash you would’ve spent on vegetable chips and artisan hummus at the grocery store.

Similar to blenders, food processors can slice, dice, chop and puree in a manner of minutes, cutting down on all the prep time of putting together simple delights. Plus, since processors make it near easy to put together perfect starters, they are a must in every working kitchen.

So if you need to add a little zest to those homemade pita chips but are in a rush and can’t chop up ingredients by hand, it’s easy breezy with a food processor. Throw in one of chickpeas, three garlic gloves, some cumin a little bit of lemon juice, and some extra virgin olive oil, puree for a few minutes and you got yourself some fresh and classic garlic hummus just like that (check out the recipe below).

With the right food processor, you don’t have any excuse for not making yourself and your guests amazing snacks during your Memorial Day party while waiting for the main course. Just check the tasty and easy food processor recipes below that only take a matter of minutes to pull together and are sure to be appetizing.

Thick and Smooth Tahini
If you want to impress your guests with a unique cocktail snack, then look no further than this Thick and Smooth Tahini recipe. A health-conscious alternative to the peanut butter-and-celery dish (perfect for those allergic to peanuts who like the peanut taste), this starter takes a little more effort but is worth all the sweat.

To start, you need five cups of sesame seeds and one and half cups of extra virgin olive oil (tahini is generally bitter tasting, so add a quarter cup of sugar for that special sweetness). Layer the sesame seeds on a baking sheet in on layer and toast for 5 – 10 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven, shaking seeds frequently with a spatula.

Make sure the seeds don’t brown, as it will cause the tahini to taste burnt. Cool for 20 minutes, and then pour the seeds into the processor, add olive oil and blend for two minutes, checking for consistency (this is the point where you would add sugar if desired). You want a thick, yet smooth texture, so add more oil and blend until preferred consistency is achieved, but make sure it is perfectly blended, otherwise you will have a bitter taste, even with sugar added. When ready, put into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Use it as a vegetable dip, or put out some bagel chips and let your guests spread it on.

Cold Spinach Artichoke Dip
Everyone loves a delicious alternative to the traditional French onion dip, and if you’re looking for that alternative, go with this Cold Spinach Artichoke Dip your buddies will die for. It takes only 15 minutes to make and it’s worth the time. All you need is a 16-oz container of low-fat sour cream, a three-quarter cup of mayo, big handfuls of fresh spinach, a 14-oz can of artichoke hearts (drained), a large garlic glove and a cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Place the artichoke hearts, spinach and garlic in the food processor and process until finely chopped. After that’s done, put in the sour cream and mayo and blend, then add in the other ingredients from the processor and mix in. Serve cold with any kind of chip.

Classic and Fresh Garlic Hummus
Looking to add some flair to your pita chips or gourmet Romano-basil crackers? Then this Classic and Fresh Garlic Hummus recipe is your best bet. Calling for only 10 minutes of your time, all you need is three medium garlic cloves, one can of chick peas (drained), two tablespoons of lemon juice, a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil and one teaspoon of cumin.

Toss all the ingredients into your food processor and blend until smooth and creamy, but not watery (you want more of a thick and smooth consistency). You can also make hummus with tahini, however, it will create an oily consistency, so for the freshest results, leave that ingredient out.

So there you have it: three scrumptious Memorial Day recipes that take less than 30 minutes to make in your food processor. Have fun, mix it up and enjoy the endless possibilities of your handy kitchen appliance.

Published on Prince George’s Suite – Friday, May 18, 2012

3 thoughts on “Whip It Good

  1. Great article! I swear by my food processor. There were so many recipes that I wanted to try but couldn’t as I didn’t have a FP. It is a worthwhile investment. I love HOT artichoke spinach dip, and I never even thought of its summer alternative, a cold version! Thanks for these–I will try them out!

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