Q. Have any suggestions for some light appetizers to ease the wait for the turkey feast? We generally gather to kibbitz and nosh for a couple of hours before we sit down, but we don’t want to overdo with cheese, dips, chips, etc. What do you see out there on the horizon?
A. Keep it simple. That’s a good theme for the whole Thanksgiving Day feast.
For a light snack or appetizer beforehand, raw foods are the best because they won’t fill you up. Think of a tray of celery, radishes, cucumbers and even some olives and pickled items like artichoke hearts and pickled beans.
Keep it light on the carbohydrates. Crackers and chips will fill you up quickly, and you often can’t stop eating them once you’ve started. So, no elaborate Spanish tapas on toast points, no baked brie en croute, no Greek dolmas (the rice is too filling).
Strangely enough, the one item that always disappears in our group — and you can chalk this up to the tastes of the people in question — is a can of sardines, rinsed and topped with something like a harissa sauce or even freshly squeeze lemon. Rinsed anchovies is another that some return to time and again.
That leads me to the last suggestion: bagna cauda, the warm butter-oil dip with anchovies that you dip veggies in. It could be the centerpiece of a crudité plate or served alongside a platter of roasted veggies in an antipasti plate.