Here it is, the final installment for my healthy appetizer extravaganza for my upcoming debut on ABC’s KATU AM Northwest–and this one might be my favorite.
There comes a point, somewhere between the third piece of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving day and the one too many glasses of wine at the awkward office holiday party that you realize that you don’t want another mini quiche, or to lay eyes on anything wrapped in bacon. In these moments you are experiencing what I like to call
“wait, when’s that last time I had a vegetable?”
OK, who doesn’t love bite-sized morsels of rich, festive and “special” food around the holidays? Most of us humans indulge during the season, and for many of us, this easily morphs into “oh what the hell, I’ve gone this far down the rabbit hole of baked brie and homemade fudge, I a may as well just go all in and start all over on January 1st”. Come on…you know you’ve uttered those very words at some point in the last 3 weeks.
Call the orgy of rich, indulgent (and oftentimes not even really all that delicious) fare at this time of year the inspiration for this recipe. This is a light and refreshing appetizer that also feels very appropriate for the season. With a subtle bite of horseradish, the crisp slightly bitter snap of the endive and the fresh burst of lemon and chive, they are a perfect respite from yet another hunk of cheese.
Which brings me to this. One of my go-to strategies for getting through the holidays without having to pull the next-size-up pair of jeans out of the back of your closet:
Focus on the foods that you really enjoy and that are typically only offered during the holidays. For me this includes things like stuffing and apple pie at Thanksgiving and my family’s famous deviled eggs and spicy homemade cookies (think ginger snaps and molasses) at Christmas. I just don’t see the point of wasting the eating part of the celebration on things like cheese and crackers and mini quiches … or anything in a puff pastry for that matter. Give some thought to what the once-a-year treats you look forward to are and go from there.
A couple of tips about this recipe. The crab salad can be prepared a day ahead. I wouldn’t assemble the final dish until a couple of hours until you plan to serve it. Feel free to play around with the flavors. Not a big fan of horseradish mustard? Try a mildly sweet German mustard instead, or skip the mustard altogether and replace with herbs (dill or tarragon would be great here). Make sure to give the mixture a good taste to check for the right amount of salt (you’ll probably use more than you’d expect).