I love just putting out a selection of breads and crackers, whipped feta and caponata, so that guests can make their own fun bites. Interactive snacking. The layers of flavor from the caponata are simple but great, while the salty bacon and capers and sweet raisins provide a variety of textures.
Kitchen equipment required: Sauce pans, cutting board, stand mixer
Swap Option: You can use any winter squash and root vegetables (parsnips, carrots, acorn squash, delicata)
For the root vegetable caponata:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat large sauté pan over medium heat. Add bacon to the hot pan and cook until it begins to crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, red pepper and garlic and sweat for 3 minutes. Season with salt as you go. add the butter and olive oil, and then the celery root and squash. Stir to coat the ingredients with the butter and oil. Place in oven and let roast until just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring twice. Remove from the oven and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the sugar, vinegar, pistachios, capers and raisins and serve.
For the whipped feta:
In stand mixer with paddle attachment, whip cream cheese until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add crumbled feta, heavy cream and salt and mix for another minute.
Toast nice crusty sourdough thick slices in butter until golden brown.
Spread with whipped feta and top with caponata. Garnish with fresh torn basil.