Not long ago I wrote about retro cocktail parties and shared some recipes for a few classic cocktails. Several readers asked, with all due sincerity: What type of appetizers does one serve when hosting an old school cocktail party?
For those of you who are young and perhaps didn’t come of age watching parents host cocktail parties (I didn’t) – or come of age reading old cookbooks (I did) - there are myriad options. Classics include Angels on Horseback (made with scallops rather than oysters wrapped in bacon), Swedish Meatballs, Angelic Stuffed Eggs, or these classic Spinach Parmesan Crostini.
I believe that having a few classic appetizer recipes on hand is just as important as knowing what goes into crafting traditional cocktails. While some of what I wrote about cocktail parties was tongue-in-cheek, I actually do, on occasion, enjoy a fancy drink served in a martini glass in lieu of a glass of lovely wine. I also confess that I enjoy playing dress-up at times. It’s fun to ditch the denim and classic rock, dig out my little black dress, put on a pearl necklace, and swoon to old Sinatra tunes. Ahhh, Old Blue Eyes … he was always my mother’s favorite. But I digress.
Back in the 1960s the word “crostini” was unfamiliar to most of Middle America. The term is still not known to everyone, but back during the early Viet Nam era this appetizer likely would have been referred to simply as Spinach Dip on Toast. I think the name “Spinach Parmesan Crostini” sounds a bit more elegant and, in my opinion, elegance and glam are part of the very foundation of a retro-style cocktail party. Oui?
You can, of course, serve these crostini with wine or beer while wearing denim and flannel — but I think they taste best while wearing pearls.
Spinach Parmesan Crostini
This is the made-from-scratch version of my recipe. For those who get a bit faint of heart when reading multiple steps, I’ve included several short-cuts in a section below that will allow you to make a “semi-home made” version of this recipe. By doing so, please do not in any way confuse me with the rather ditzy blond woman from the Food Network who throws dishes together using only short-cuts and then has the audacity to call it “cooking.”
1 1/2 lbs fresh spinach
1/4 cup water
1 egg yolk
2 cloves garlic, finely minced (more…)