Explore appetizers that won’t clog your makeline
You don’t have to create extravagant appetizers to wow your customers. There are so many options when it comes to appetizers that are delicious, craveable and do not require a lot of prep to pull off beautifully.
First, let’s talk garlic knots. This might be a sensitive area but hear me out. An easy switch is to forgo the garlic knots in favor of the garlic dough bites. Same great taste, good profit margin and still uses that leftover pizza dough but requires less prep time.
If that’s a hard pass, we have other great options that may fit your concept and please your customers. Let’s dive into some app ideas.
We’ve notice marinated olives popping up on more pizzeria menus around the country, and with good reason. The dish is so simple to make, presents beautifully and they are addicting. This app doesn’t require any other accompaniments and can be served hot or cold, prep ahead or made-to-order. Use pitted olives for convenience. Avoid olives already marinated or soaked in olive oil. You are looking for olives in brine.
Creativity is abound with this app by swapping out ingredients. Here are a few ways to go:
- Kalamata olives, lemon, thyme, olive oil, garlic
- Castelvetrano olives, orange, rosemary, olive oil and garlic
- Kalamata and black olives, dices sweet picante pepper, and garlic
- Kalamata olives, orange, fennel seed, garlic, thyme and olive oil
- Castelvetrano olives, lemon, garlic, Cayenne pepper, olive oil, oregano
Here’s a cold marinated olives recipe to experiment with:
Get the Citrus-marinated Olives recipe.
Reinvent the Antipasto
Usually when you see antipasto, the word platter is behind it. Or you think of perfectly placed charcuterie boards. There is no rule that says antipasto and charcuterie offerings must be abundant and be artfully presented on a large board or tray. Go with your strengths. Get creative with a mix of your favorite ingredients. With cured meats and cheese, a little goes a long way. Premium items like this demand a premium price. Mix in low-cost items like pickled or grilled vegetables and herb-infused olive oil.
You can divide your typical appetizer plate into quarters, placing giardiniera in one quarter. Devote another fourth to popular meats (Sopressata, Prosciutto or Genoa Salami). Of course, a quarter goes to fresh mozzarella. For speed, divide plate into fourths, make a vertical line with each offering.
Seasoned & Loaded Fries
If you’re a Neapolitan or upscale pizzeria, serving French fries just doesn’t fit. But if you’re a pizzeria with good chicken wing sales, fries should be right up your alley.
Make sure you go with good quality regular or sweet potato fries, whether that’s standard, steak, curly, crinkle cut, shoestring or tater tots. I’m not saying to cut your own fries unless you are a completely scratch kitchen. There are a ton of great options on the market to choose from. We are seeing a lot of waffle fries, tater tots and standard sweet potato fries lately.
The baseline easiest and most amazing, seasoned fries are as simple as tossing fries with minced or roasted garlic, Parmesan, extra-virgin olive oil, chopped fresh Italian parsley and sea salt. From here, go wild with what goes into the bowl with the fries. Truffle or hot chili oil, chimichurri, Cajun spice, Old Bay, fajita or Greek seasoning.
Another option is to go big with fries by putting loaded fries on the menu. The possibilities are endless here. Use ingredients you already have. What crosses over to make great loaded fries? Look for inspiration on your specialty pizza and sandwich menus. Some incredibly delicious loaded fries include:
- Taco with pulled pork or chicken, cheddar, mozzarella, pico de gallo or salsa, green onion and jalapeno
- White with bechamel or Mornay sauce, sunnyside up egg, bacon and chives
- Philly with all of the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich fillings
- BBQ with pulled pork or brisket, mozzarella, slaw and barbecue sauce
- Poutine with shredded beef, beef gravy and cheese curds
- Buffalo Chicken with cheddar, blue cheese and Ranch dressing
Let’s get you started with a popular loaded fries recipe.
Makeline Bacon Ranch Loaded Fries
DENISE GREER is Executive Editor at Pizza Today.