Themed parties are a great way to explore the culinary culture of countries all around the world. It’s also one of the ways that lets us feel the exciting thrill of travelling from the cozy corner of our kitchen. I personally love recreating typical to a certain region recipes, as it allows me to transport my palate to distant corners of the world, close my eyes and imagine I’m really there. But enough daydreaming! If you also want to feel the wandering taste and throw a Mediterranean Party, these recipes are exactly what you’re going to need! These simple italian, spanish & french appetizers are extra easy to make and will constitute a great snack for your guest. They will greatly accompany drinks and are easy to eat with one hand, without disturbing the conversations.
And hey! Before we start, let me also tell you that in the past I have published a post including Italian main dishes recipes sorted by different regions for a fully Italian-themed evening HERE, as well as perfectly classy recipes for Cruise cocktails & drinks HERE. They can surely come in handy for planning your other culinary journeys or travel parties!
Italian Appetizers for a Mediterranean Party | Recipes
Starting from the delicious snacks from the Italian peninsula, you will find wonderfully tasty recipes for the Classic Italian Bruschetta, Pesto Tortellini Shashlicks, Pesto Pinwheels, Pizza Sticks as well as Black Tapenade Crostini. With these 5 options, I’m sure your guests will be delighted! What’s even better about them all is that 4 out of the 5 are vegetarian-friendly, which will allow you to fit into the hearts of more party participants. I’m personally not a cook, so some of these recipes are coming from more experienced culinary experts, but some of them are invented by me. However, all of the dishes listed in this post have been personally prepared by me for my last party, about which I will tell you more in the next blogpost! For now, let’s dive straight into the Italian cuisine with these 5 tasty recipes.
Classic Italian Bruschetta
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp freshly minced garlic
- 8 tomatoes
- 1/4 cup parmezan cheese
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp freshly grounded black pepper
- 1/4 cup basil leafs
- Heat olive oil in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and keep until just startingto turn golden (don't let it turn brown), for about 1 minute.
- Pour into a large mixing bowl. Let it cool while you chop the tomatoes into cubes and basil into fine pieces.
- Pour the diced tomatoes into the bowl with the cooled oil mixture. Add parmesan, basil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix everything well.
- Toast (in a toaster or in the oven) the bread until it turns golden.
- Serve right away over toasted bread (spoon some of the juices along with it). Garnish with more parmesan if desired.
Pesto Tortellini Shashliks
- shashlik sticks
- 1 pckg tortellini pasta
- 1/2 Barilla pesto sauce
- 1 can dried tomatoes
- 1 tbsp salt
- Put the tortellini pasta into salted boiling water for the amount of time indicated on the tortellini package. Put half of the pesto sauce into a bowl.
- When ready, take them out of the water and into the bowl with the pesto sauce. Stir until the tortellinis are covered in the sauce, and get the shashlick sticks ready.
- Stick one tortellini & one dried tomato on the shashlick stick and repeat until full.
- Serve and enjoy!
- 1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
- 1/3 cup Barilla pesto sauce
- 1/4 cup roasted sweet red peppers
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup tomato paste
- Unroll crescent dough into two long rectangles; seal seams and perforations. Spread each with pesto; sprinkle with red peppers and cheese.
- Roll each up jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. With a sharp knife, cut each roll into 10 slices. Place cut side down 2 in. apart on two ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake at 400° until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Serve warm with tomato paste.
- 2 tubes Crescent Roll dough
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese finely grated
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley
- 8 mozzarella string cheese
- 40-50 slices pepperoni
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Roll dough out and separate into rectangles with 2 triangles in each. Pinch the seam together.
- Line each rectangle with 5 or 6 slices of pepperoni and top with a string cheese.
- Fold the dough over the contents and fold the sides up and over to seal.
- Place sticks on a lined baking sheet.
- Combine butter, garlic, parsley, and parmesan cheese and brush over the tops of each stick.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on both the top and bottom. Remove from oven and serve hot with marinara sauce for dipping.
Black Olive Tapenade Crostini
- 1 cup black olives
- 1 tbsp capers
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 baguette
- Add all ingredients in a food processor or blender, pulsing until olives are chopped and ingredients are combined. This is for a chunky consistency. You could also puree until smooth.
- Chop the baguette in little pieces and heat it up until golden.
- Spread the tapenade over your crostini and serve! You can garnish it with more olives or basil.
Italian cuisine is incredibly tasty… do you agree? I hope you loved all of these starters! But we’re not done – we’re just moving on to the next country on our palate-travel journey!
Spanish Appetizers for a Mediterranean Party | Recipes
In Spain, appetizers are very common since many people prefer to eat them several times a day instead of gathering for one, main dish. They also have a special name for them – tapas! There are tons of various and delicious recipes for tapas and personally I have tried so many that I wouldn’t know which one I like the most. However, I have gathered the ones that will make your Mediterranean Party unforgettable and are quite simple to make! And remember that Spanish tapas can nicely accompany sangria… 😉
Croquetas de Jamon
- 200 g serrano ham
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 100 g flour
- 100 g butter
- 1 l milk
- 1 fresh parsley
- Dice the butter, melt in a pan, chop the onion and garlic clove finely and add them to the butter.
- Fry for 5-6 minutes, then add finely chopped Serrano ham, add flour and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the milk slowly, stirring constantly. Boil the Béchamel sauce for 20 minutes, stirring constantly. At the end of cooking, add the chopped parsley.
- When the dough has cooled down, you can form croquettes which should be oblong and about 5-6 cm long.
- Then coat in flour, egg and breadcrumbs. Fry in well-heated, deep oil until golden brown. After frying, it is a good idea to drain excess fat from them.
Chorizo, Manchego and Olive Tapas
- 1 Spanish Chorizo
- 1 Manchego Cheese
- 1 cup Manzanilla Olives
- 1 tbsp Slivered Almonds
- 1 tbsp Honey
- Layer Chorizo on top, olive in the middle, and cheese on the bottom.
- Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with slivered almonds.
- Serve and enjoy!
Roasted Grape Crostini
- 3 cups seedless red or green grapes halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 24 slices bread baguette cut diagonally 1/2 inch thick
- 1/2 cup shaved Manchego or Romano cheese
- thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 400°. Toss rst ve ingredients; spread in a greased 15x10x1-in. pan. Roast until grapes are lightly browned and softened, 30-35 minutes. Stir in orange zest.
- Preheat broiler. Arrange bread slices on an ungreased baking sheet. Broil 3-4 in. from heat until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes per side. Top with warm grape mixture; sprinkle with cheese and basil.
Patatas Bravas with Cheat Garlic Aioli
- 1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme and parsley
- 1 tbsp Spanish paprika
- 3 garlic cloves pressed
- 1/2 cup high-quality mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Sea salt and pepper
- Make the Garlic Aioli: Combine the pressed garlic, mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt and pepper to taste in a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Allow the aioli to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This can be made ahead.
- Make the Patatas Bravas: Boil the fingerling potatoes in salted water until they are just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and let dry.
- Carefully slice the potatoes in half lengthwise once they are cooled.
- Heat a cast iron pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil until very hot. Work in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan) and fry up the potatoes until each side is crispy and evenly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Using tongs, transfer the potatoes to drain on paper towels, and while they are still very hot, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, paprika, and fresh thyme.
- Serve the potatoes immediately while still warm on a bed of fresh parsley, sprinkled with additional parsley and thyme. Serve with the aioli. Enjoy!
Ahh, tapas! Can we ever get enough?! I’ll leave the answer to your mouths. We have then now made our stops in Italy and Spain on our Mediterranean journey. There’s only one more country missing… the capital of elegance.
French Appetizers for a Mediterranean Party | Recipes
French cuisine is quite unusual in comparison to the rest of the mediterranean countries. However it can certainly bless us with its classiness, originality and extravagant combinations. When I was in France, I haven’t really seen a lot of people ordering or generally eating appetizers. I don’t know whether it’s just a coincidence or they aren’t as common there. Maybe you have any idea? In any case, I have still prepared a few recipes that will bring the French vibes to your Mediterranean gathering. The second one is my favourite… and I’m curious to know what’s yours!
French Sausage Rolls
- 5 classic sausages
- 5 slices good cheese
- 250 g puff pastry
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp sesame
- Prepare a baking tray. Put a sheet of baking paper on the baking tray.
- Wrap each sausage in a piece of puff pastry. The dough may completely cover the ends of the sausages. You can also leave the ends uncovered, as I did. For five sausages I used a sheet of puff pastry weighing 250 grams.
- You can additionally cut the dough with a sharp knife. However, it is not necessary. Brush the puff pastry from the top with a little egg, beaten with a fork. Since you don't need a lot of eggs, I recommend that you use one quail egg.
- You can also sprinkle the prepared sausages with black or light sesame seeds or a pinch of your favorite herbs, e.g. Provencal.
- Place the tray with sausages in puff pastry on the middle shelf of the oven preheated to 200 degrees. Baking option: up / down. Bake the sausages for about 15 minutes, until the dough is golden.
- Sausages with puff pastry can be removed from the oven immediately after baking.
- 2 large wheat tortilla pancakes
- 200 g cold smoked salmon
- 50 g cream Philadelphia cheese
- 100 g fresh cucumber
- 50 g black olives
- a handful of baby spinach leave
- a pinch of salt and pepper
- Prepare two large wheat pancakes. Brush the pancakes with creamy Philadelphia cheese. You can also use any creamy cream cheese with the addition of horseradish or dill.
- Place the slices of cold-smoked salmon on top of the cheese one after another.
- Place thinly sliced fresh cucumber on top of the salmon. Wash and peel the cucumber beforehand.
- Place pitted black olives under one row of cucumber slices.
- Place the washed and dried baby spinach leaves under the olives.
- Sprinkle everything with freshly ground pepper and salt.
- The tortilla is now ready to be rolled up. Start rolling it slowly into a tight roll.
- Cut the tortilla rolls with a sharp knife into rolls, each about 3 cm wide. Tortilla rolls with salmon are ready to be served straight away. You can also cool them in the fridge.
French variation of the mini pizzas
- 275 g puff pastry
- 100 ml tomato passata
- 200 g yellow cheese or mozzarella
- 50 g salami slices
- 1 cup black olives
- 1 tbsp fresh basil
- 1 tsp freshly grounded pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Turn on the oven to 180 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
- Put the dough on the countertop and roll it out slightly to make it straighten on the bends. Use a cutter or glass to cut out circles. I have a diameter of 7 cm.
- Place the discs on the paper at short distances. Put the ingredients on top of each piece in turn:– a bit of passata spread with a spoon (you can rub the tomato without the skin)– a bit of grated cheese– a slice of salami– sliced or chopped olives– the rest of the cheese– basil leaves– freshly ground pepper
- Place the baking tray in an oven preheated to 180 degrees. Bake in the middle shelf for 12 minutes.
- Serve the puff pastry hot, straight from the oven. I recommend pouring them with olive oil, adding fresh herbs and tomato puree.
Whew! We have really travelled a long way with these incredible recipes from the wonderful mediterranean countries. It was definitely a great trip for our palate, but also for our cultural richness. I’m curious to know which appetizer became your favourite! If you recreate them for your parties or generally to spend an evening with a travel from home culinary moment, share your pics on social media & tag me in them! You can find me on Instagram @milenacorleoneofficial, Instagram @ship.me.there, Pinterest @lenacorleone or Twitter @milenacorleone. I always love to hear from all of you!
Check out also:
- Italian Recipes you can recreate at home –> CLICK <–
- Cruise Cocktail Recipes you can recreate at home –> CLICK <–