Appetizers: Simple yet elegant

December 15, 1998

Cozze in Salsa Verdephoto: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

It's the holiday season, time to get together with family and friends.

You want to see everyone, you'd love to have a party, but you haven't finished your shopping and haven't even started baking. There's no time!

Sure there is. Take it easy. Just have appetizers.

When your friends ask what they can bring, tell them. It doesn't have to be fancy - veggies and a favorite dip will do. So will some cheese, crackers and a bunch of grapes.

[cont. from lifestyle]

For some other ideas, we asked three Hagerstown restaurants for holiday party appetizer ideas, and they provided some elegant and easy recipes.


Donald Olson, owner of Oliver's Pub and Restaurant, suggested Lime Scallops with Brie. Chef John Cardinale of Washington Spy offered Pesto Crostini and John Walla, executive chef at Twilight's Ristorante, gave us Cozze - Mussels - in Salsa Verde.

Try them. Relax with your loved ones, and have a happy holiday party.

- Kate Coleman, Staff Writer

Cozze in Salsa Verde

  • 3 pounds mussels
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 tablespoons Bermuda onion
  • 4 tablespoons minced roasted peppers
  • 3 tablespoons minced seeded peperoncini
  • 3 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
  • 4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • lemon wedges
  • sprigs of parsley, for garnish

Steam mussels in hot water with the bay leaves for approximately 5 minutes, until all the mussels have opened.

Drain the mussels in a colander, discarding any that have remained closed, and if desired, reserve the liquid for another use.

On a serving tray, arrange the mussels in a concentric, radiating pattern allowing them to cool in the refrigerator.

Cut and mince vegetables. Add the olive oil and vinegar, then salt and pepper to taste.

When the mussels have cooled sufficiently, spoon about 1 teaspoon sauce over each and decorate with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs.

Serves six.

- courtesy of Executive Chef John Walla, Twilight's Ristorante


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