Easy Appetizers Courtesy of Chow.com Members

This recent Chow.com thread has some fantastic ideas for simple but elegant appetizers:


Some of my favorite recommendations from this thread include:

  • From westvillager02: An endive leaf filled with a scoop of goat cheese blended with herbs. This is great for its simplicity and ultimate flexibility. I suggested adding a couple of strips of roasted red pepper to the top or possibly a sprinkle of finely chopped prosciutto. A nice drizzle of a champagne vinaigrette might be nice as well. You can prep all of the ingredients ahead and assemble at least an hour before the party.
  • From weezycom: Skewered cantaloupe balls with Smithfield ham. What a fun twist on prosciutto with melon. If you can get nice, fresh, farm stand melon and a local ham this could become a particularly nice way to showcase local ingredient.
  • From pondrat: Dried apricot topped with goat cheese and a caramelized walnut. I particularly like this one because it’s not subject seasonally available ingredients but still has the feel of freshness. It’s also easy to make ahead which is great for any gathering.

My contribution was based on a lovely nibble I had at the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival Wines of Spain tasting - Date, Serrano Ham, and Cheese Skewers. These are very simple to make, can be done at least an hour ahead of time, and offer an easy-to-manage appetizer on a skewer that is great for guests who will be standing during a party or prior to a sit-down dinner.

Recipe: Date, Serrano, Ham, and Cheese Skewers


  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Makes: 24
  • Pre Time: 30 minutes
  • Weight Watchers Points: 1 each, 5 points for 4*


  • 24 pitted dates
  • 8 thin slices of Serrano ham, cut lengthwise into 3 strips each (about 2 oz. total)
  • 6 oz. firm Spanish cheese like Iberzia or Manchego, cut into 24 cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. good-quality honey for drizzling
  • 24 short skewers


  1. Wrap each date with a strip of the Serrano ham and thread onto a skewer being sure to catch the tail of the ham on the skewer so it doesn’t come unravelled. Don’t push the date too far down the skewer.
  2. Thread a cube of cheese onto the end of the skewer next to the date.
  3. Arrange on a serving platter and drizzle lightly with honey.

Presentation Ideas

  • These are pretty lined up on a serving platter or turned cheese and date side down in a vase or high-sided, narrow serving dish. Drizzle with the honey after plating.
  • Fill a flowerpot with pebbles, glass beads, dried beans, or other dense filler and “plant” the skewers cheese and date side up. Drizzle with honey before planting so the pot filler doesn’t get too sticky (but you may not be able to re-use the filler without washing it well).
  • Be sure to offer a receptacle for used skewers so guests can easily dispose of them.

*Points Details

  • The points calculator doesn’t currently list serrano ham as an option, so I calculated the points using proscuitto instead. The two hams are largely interchangeable, but you may want to recalculate based on the specific nutritional information for your ham.
  • The points calculator also doesn’t list manchego cheese, but my in my experience it is on par with other firm cheeses like cheddar, so I calculated the points using the information for cheddar.