Retro Cocktail Hour Nibbles

vintage apron and stove

Simplicity rules at Senza Tempo, whether it’s your wardrobe or your parties.  A party should be about spending time with friends and family, not slaving away preparing tedious recipes.  Parmesan shortbread is one of our founder’s go-to recipes for any occasion and always a crowdpleaser (don’t be surprised if they spoil your guest’s dinner, though.)  The gin-soaked olives are simply the best part of a martini.


Savory Parmesan Shortbread Rounds
30 Mins | Makes 24
Serving suggestion: pre-dinner drinks or on a salumi platter

1 ¾ c all purpose flour
¾ c + 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 oz)
1 tsp + dash coarse kosher salt
½ small garlic clove, minced
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 c (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
Variations: You can add fresh minced chives, dill, parsley or rosemary to the dough.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  
Mix flour, ¾ c Parmesan cheese, salt, garlic and cayenne pepper in food processor.
Add butter and, using on/off turns, process until dough begins to come together.  
Gather into ball and divide into half.
Roll each half into a 12-inch log and cut into 1 inch slices.  Roll each into a ball.
Arrange balls on baking sheet about 1.5 inches apart.  Press into 2 inch diameter round.
Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese over.
Bake about 20 minutes, or until tops are dry and bottoms golden brown.
Transfer rounds to rack and cool completely.  
Store in airtight container at room temperature or freeze up to 1 month.


Gin Soaked Olives

1 cup oversized green olives (not from a jar)
1/4 cup gin
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
5 (1/4 inch wide) strips lemon peel, each about 2-3 inches long
Variations: You can add dill, oregano and thyme to the marinade depending on your preference.

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive dish and cover tightly. Allow olives to marinate at least 2 to 3 hours or up to 4 days in the refrigerator. If you are only marinating them for a few hours, leave the olives in the marinade at room temperature.  Serve drizzled with olive oil and cubed feta cheese if you desire.

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