I’m here to make a case that a meal need go no further than the appetizer, that variegated first course. Eclectic and often effortless, appetizers, when paired well together, are a perfectly suitable dinner in their own right. Think about it, you’ve got free rein over a whole bevy of little plates that you can mix and match to your appetite du jour. Use this opportunity to be adventurous with textures, tastes, colors. Make an appetizer from each region of the world, make your spread monochromatic, polychromatic, vary textures and sizes and numbers. If you’re having guests, why not correspond each tiny plate to each of your guest’s individual personalities? Seem silly? It is, but it sounds fun, too.
Here I’ve pulled together some of my favorite tiny plates from the site that, in conversation, can function as a stand alone meal. Make some of these ahead of time and keep them in your fridge for snacking throughout the week. Spread some on toast or a cracker, and eat it alone. Who am I to judge? When it comes to appetizers, you do you. Take some of these ideas and get started:
How do you organize your apps? Tell us your approach in the comment section below.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).