I love entertaining at home. Whether with family or friends, we always gather around the kitchen island with a beer or a glass of white wine to share an appetizer before dinner. For me, the kitchen island is the central gathering place in the kitchen. It’s the perfect spot to share what you love with people you love. This isn’t a column on the kitchen island I have for you, but rather my top 5 starters to share! Make way for the delights 🤤.

Tartine of Saint-Paulin and maple caramelized leeks

You had to suspect that the cheese fan in me would start with a cheesy starter recipe 🧀. In this tartine recipe, the Saint-Paulin cheese is creamy, exceptionally soft on the palate and melts perfectly in the oven on a slice of bread. Of course, with a pan of sliced leeks caramelized with maple syrup, you know it’s sublime!

Natacha’s artichoke and leek dip

There’s nothing better than a warm cheese dip to snack on around the island. Yes, that’s right, “with cheeses,” because you can use as many varieties as you like, depending on your tastes. I’ll tell you that I often go slightly over the recipe’s 1 cup of cheese... just a little 😉. I also have my variation on Natacha’s dip recipe:

For the cheese mix: very mild cheddar for its creaminess, which I love, smoked Gouda for the punch, mozzarella because it stretches, and a little nutritional yeast for the extra cheesy taste!

Instead of blanching the sliced leeks, my secret is to cook them in a bit of butter for 5 minutes before adding them to all the ingredients 😉.

Arancini with sausage and leek

As a starter, Arancini reminds me so much of my trip to Italy! What I love about this recipe for sharing is that I can cook a mushroom and leek risotto or a lobster and leek risotto, eat it, and have the risotto ready to make the arancini more quickly. Not only do I save a bit of time, but I enjoy it, and so do my guests!

Brie fondant with leeks and dried fruit

Here’s another cheesy recipe that’s perfect for sharing as an appetizer. The filling can be made the day before, or you can use whatever you have on hand if you don’t have all the ingredients. Serve with crudités, slices of baguette or lightly toasted and seasoned pitas.

Pizza-style potato skins

In our house, there’s no waste with potatoes! After washing them, you can make potato chips with the skins, season them with my homemade potato spice mix, or keep the skins on the potatoes to make these pizza-style potato skins to share as an appetizer. You can add 1/2 chopped onion or 1/4 bag of Les Cultures de chez nous sliced leeks in the recipe. You know my preference 😉 especially since Les Cultures de chez nous bagged leeks are already washed, sliced and ready to cook! With bags of sliced leeks so perfect and versatile, it’s easy to succumb to them in the prepared produce section at the grocery store 😊.

Appetizers to share for all tastes

Want some more? The Crazy Leeks website is packed with recipes for sharing starters for all occasions. And if you’re looking for ideas for the rest of your meal, you will find one or more recipes for the main course and the dessert! And if your guests are staying over, you can even cook them one of the recipes for brunch or breakfast 😀.

My little plug for closing: if you like my articles, I invite you to go and read my other articles 😉.

See you next time!

Serge