Finger foods for a crowd: goat cheese stuffed dates & green bean/asparagus bundles

The Big Game is coming next Sunday. So I did a bit of research and figured out a few things that would be cost effective and easy to prep and that would be a bit different than the cheese and fruit plates that would already be there.

The goat cheese stuffed dates is better made the day before the Super Bowl and the green bean and asparagus bundles the same morning before the SB party. They aren’t labour intensive and are actually fun to put together.

For the Westphalian ham wraps, I do include a balsamic glaze that can be drizzled over the bundles. The bundles will be really tasty plain but trust me they are spectacular with that little drizzle of tangy-sweet goodness. For the recipes below I do use the measurements used for a party , but these would be really quite simple to scale down for a small dinner party.

lemon & goat cheese stuffed dates:
1 large log of creamy goat cheese, room temperature
2 boxes of fresh dates
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 c roasted pecans, roughly chopped

Pit the dates and don’t worry about the fibrous insides…that’s just how dates are. In a medium sized bowl, mash up the goat cheese and the lemon zest together and start stuffing about a teaspoon (or a bit less) into each date. Arrange stuffed dates on a platter and sprinkle with the roasted pecans.

asparagus & green bean bundles:
4 bundles of asparagus
2 lbs fresh green beans
1 large Costco-sized package of Westphalian ham or prosciutto*
freshly ground pepper
1/2 c balsamic vinegar (optional)

In batches, steam the asparagus until bright green and still crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Cool immediately in a separate bowl filled with ice water. Drain and repeat with the process with the remaining asparagus and green beans. You may only need to steam the green beans for 2-3 minutes.

Wrap the ham around bundles of 2 stems of asparagus or 3 green beans until you have pretty looking bunches. Grind some black pepper over top and plate or set aside in refrigerator.

Reduce the balsamic vinegar in a small pot until it has become a little bit syrupy and reduced by almost half. Drizzle over asparagus and green bean bundles and serve.

* If your ham is quite wide, you can slice in half lengthwise. This is not only thrifty since you’ll end up using less ham but a thinner ribbon looks nicer wrapped around the greens.

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