3 Easy Holiday Appetizers

Learn how to make a Hot Date Night with a Nut, Marinated Goat Cheese with Homemade Crostini, and Negroni Spagliato.

NBC Universal, Inc.

The holiday season is ramping up in 'The Chef's Pantry with Anna Rossi' . She is the "Hostess with the mostess" showing you tips, tricks, and recipes for entertaining like a pro.



20 Medjool dates, pitted 

20-40 Marcona almonds, the “Rosemary & Salt” Marcona Almonds from Trader Joe’s are really good

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

3 TBS goat cheese, room temperature

1 TBS fresh thyme

Zest from 1 orange

Maldon Salt


  1. Stuff 1-2 Marcona almonds into the center of each Medjool date. 
  2. In a medium cast-iron or non-stick pan, heat extra virgin olive oil on medium-high. Place Medjool dates in a single layer across the pan and sear until the skin begins to lightly blister and crisp, about 3 minutes. Toss and rotate every 30 seconds. 
  3. Remove from heat.  Arrange on a serving platter and top each hot date with a pinch of goat cheese, a leaf or two of fresh thyme and zest of orange.  Finish with a sprinkle of Maldon salt and serve hot.
  4. TIP: These are also delicious served simply with just the date stuffed with the almonds and a dusting of maldon salt. 



Marinated Goat Cheese

8 oz log of goat cheese, room temperature

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt & pepper 

A few pinches of your favorite herbs and spices. Some that we like include red pepper, freshly crushed garlic, orange and lemon zest, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary minced, fresh dill, and more!


1 baguette sliced into ¼” medallions 

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 clove crushed garlic

Kosher salt & cracked pepper

1 tsp herbs de Provence


For the Marinated Goat Cheese

  1. Slice the log of goat cheese into ½” rounds and place in a small shallow rimmed serving bowl.  Pour over extra virgin olive oil and add your favorite flavors to infuse with the olive oil.  Serve at room temperature with a butter knife with your favorite crackers. 

For the Crostini

  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Arrange baguette medallions in a single layer across the baking sheet. Brush generously with extra virgin olive oil and crushed garlic.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, and herbs.  
  2. Bake for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. PRO TIP: Bake time will vary depending on the bread.  Bake time is approximate so keep an eye and remove when it is toasted to your desired level of crispness.



1 oz Campari

1 oz Sweet Vermouth

4 oz Prosecco


In a rocks glass over ice, gently stir together Campari and Sweet Vermouth.  Top with prosecco and garnish with a slice of orange.

Items used in this episode of 'The Chef's Panty with Anna Rossi': The Cheese Shop of Salem, Fromaggio, Top Seedz, Effies, Creminelli, Fra’mani, Medjool Dates, Styld

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