3 ideas for easy holiday party snacks with Olive Oil

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Nobody is going to blame you if your holiday party spread includes a bowl of mixed nuts, some grapes and a wedge or two of cheese. After all, most people enjoy them and are willing to nibble mindlessly on them. But it is easier than you think to elevate your feast by bolstering those tired party snack clichés with a few more creative offerings.

You won’t need to work very hard at this. Most holiday party snacks can be assembled in less than 10 minutes, and many can be assembled ahead of time. And the only truly important rule is to make sure everything is neat and easy to eat (one-handing it really is best for party food).

To help get your party started, we’ve assembled some of our favorite snack ideas. We’ve even given you a way to jazz up your basic bowl of mixed nuts.

3 fresh ideas for holiday snacks

Marinated olives: Whisk together 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, zest of 1 orange, 2 minced cloves garlic and 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary. Toss with 2 cups mixed pitted olives. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Smashed lemon cannellini beans: Drain and rinse a 15-ounce can of cannellini beans. Pat dry with paper towels, then spread on a dinner plate. Roughly smash the beans with a fork or potato masher. Drizzle all over with extra virgin olive oiland lemon juice. Sprinkle with grated lemon zest, chopped fresh oregano, coarse sea salt, black pepper and smoked paprika. Serve with toasted pita chips.

Marinated mozzarella with anchovy and peanuts: Mash 3 anchovies with a fork in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil, 1 pound cubed, drained fresh mozzarella, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 2 cloves grated garlic, 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves, and 1/2 cup lightly chopped unsalted peanuts. Serve with bread for scooping.

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