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Gourmet vegetarian appetizers

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I like a quick and easy vegetarian chili cheese dip just as much as everyone else, but I also love to create dishes that are a work of art in themselves. Here are some of my favorite elegant vegetarian and vegan appetizers and hors d'oeuvres.

1. Gourmet Bruschetta

Texas Sweet Citrus

Kick your basic bruschetta recipe up a notch by using grapefruit, blue cheese and red pepper flakes instead of the usual tomatoes and basil. Filled with unpredictable flavors, this gourmet vegetarian appetizer recipe will surely become a favorite. Or, scroll through this collection of gourmet bruschetta recipes to experiment with different blends of cheeses, toppings, vinaigrettes and more.
Pictured: Gourmet grapefruit and blue cheese brushcetta

2. Onion and Apple Tarts with Goat Cheese

US Apple Association

For an elegant fall gourmet vegetarian appetizer, try these savory onion and apple tarts, made with either feta or goat cheese. These little onion apple tarts are vegetarian, but for a vegan gourmet appetizer, you could use vegan dough and omit the cheese.

3. Savory Stuffed Mushrooms with Italian Parsley

Stuffed mushrooms always have a place on the gourmet appetizer platter, and when making a meatless appetizer array, this recipe fills in nicely. Vegetarian sausage is pan-fried with onions, peppers and fresh parsley then stuffed into oven-roasted mushroom caps for a delightful and savory finger food.
See also: Raw food appetizer: Mushrooms stuffed with an herbed raw walnut pate

4. Baked Plums with Sweetened Vegan Ricotta

Fresh plums are baked in a vanilla sauce then filled with a sweetened dairy-free ricotta mixture in this gourmet vegan appetizer that could also double as a gourmet brunch item, if that's more your thing than dinner parties. And, if you weren't already tempeted, these baked plums are also gluten-free.

5. Fruit Spring Rolls with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

A beautiful and colorful gourmet vegetarian appetizer, fruit-filled spring rolls with a simple yogurt-based sauce are a light, cool, and refreshing appetizer or dessert. For a vegan version, use a non-dairy yogurt to make the sauce. Try adding gourmet or exotic fruits for an even more unusual dish. Ripe persimmons, jackfruit, mangosteen or lychees would work well.
See also: How to Wrap Spring Rolls (It's easy!)

6. Ginger, Lime and Apple Salsa

This gourmet vegetarian and vegan recipe is just as easy to make as a traditional Mexican salsa, but the unusual ingredient combination adds an elegant twist. Serve your apple salsa with flaxseed crackers or blue corn tortilla chips.
See also: Pineapple Jalapeno Gourmet Salsa

7. Fingerling potatoes

A vegetarian and vegan recipe for fingerling or new potatoes with cashew cream and horseradish mayonnaise, topped with crisped dulse flakes. From The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen.

8. Herbed Vegetarian Mushroom Pate

Nothing says "gourmet food" quite like a pate, so try making a vegetarian version using fresh mushrooms and plenty of fresh herbs for flavor. This is an elegant gourmet vegetarian and vegan appetizer best chilled before serving with sliced French bread or whole grain crackers.
See also: Vegan Walnut and Mushroom Pate

9. Fresh Apricots with Cream Cheese and Pistachios

This summery recipe uses fresh apricots for a quick yet tasty appetizer or hors'd oeuvres. You can make this vegetarian recipe vegan by using a vegan cream cheese.
See also: Apricot Salsa Dip

10. Garbanzo Bean and Pesto Dip

Add a bit of gourmet flair to a traditional vegetarian bean dip recipe by using garbanzo beans and adding a prepared pesto sauce. Serve with toasted pita chips or spread on crackers.
See also: Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Bean Dip

11. Roasted Artichoke with Chipotle Spiced Aoili

For this gourmet appetizer, the sweet tangy richness of the artichoke is complimented by the smoky flavor of the chipotle aioli dip. An easy gourmet recipe to prepare.
See also: Hot Artichoke and Parmesan Dip

12. Artichoke Focaccia with Fresh Thyme

Your kitchen will smell like old Italy when you bake up this fresh herbed focaccia bread as a gourmet vegetarian appetizer. A savory and flavorful bread that is excellent on its own or served with an appetizer soup or as the crust for a vegetarian gourmet appetizer pizza.
See also: White wine and sage vegan focaccia
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