Dear Barefoot Contessa,

Thank you Ina Garten for all your cookbooks. You are my go to guru for holiday entertaining. And what I cannot find in the food smeared pages of your cookbooks, I find right here on-line.

This holiday season, I’m turning to you once again for entertaining guidance and love your cocktails and appetizer ideas.

I am sharing these favorites with your loyal BA50 readers and want to tell you how grateful I am to have you in my kitchen.

Aperol Spritzer

Aperol Spritzer: The perfect welcome holiday cocktail

  • Ice cubes
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle Prosecco, chilled
  • 12 ounces Aperol, such as Barbieri
  • San Pellegrino or other sparkling water, chilled
  • 6 half-round slices of orange or blood orange

For each drink, fill a 14- to 16-ounce tumbler three-quarters full with ice. Fill each glass two-thirds full with Prosecco, add 2 ounces of the Aperol, a splash of San Pellegrino, and an orange slice, and stir. Serve ice cold.

Watch Ina Make Jeffrey’s Favorite Potato Latkes


Ina Garten’s Cranberry Martini And Herb Feta For The Perfect Party

Marinated Cranberry Martinis & Marinated Feta

Watch Ina whip up this festive holiday cocktail with her proteges Hoda and Kathy Lee…


Ina’s Herbed Ricotta Bruschetta

Herbed Ricotta Bruschettas

  • 2 cups ricotta, store-bought or homemade (see recipe)
  • 3 tablespoons minced scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 round sourdough bread
  • Good olive oil
  • 1 whole garlic clove, cut in half
  • Green Salad Vinaigrette (see recipe)

Prepare a charcoal grill with hot coals or turn a gas grill to medium-high heat.

Combine the ricotta, scallions, dill, chives, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and set aside. Cut the bread in half and cut each half into 6 thick slices to make 12 slices total.

When the grill is hot, brush the bread with olive oil and grill on each side for 1½ to 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the grill and rub each slice of bread with the cut side of the garlic clove. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread with the herbed ricotta. Serve 2 warm slices per person with the green salad onthe side.

Homemade Ricotta (Makes About 2 Cups)

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons good white wine vinegar

Set a large sieve over a deep bowl. Dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the sieve with the cheesecloth.

Pour the milk and cream into a stainless-steel or enameled pot such as Le Creuset. Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the -vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until it curdles. It will separate into thick parts (the curds) and milky parts (the whey).

Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta. (I tend to like mine on the thicker side, but some prefer it moister.) Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, discarding the cheesecloth and any remaining whey. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The ricotta will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days.

Green Salad Vinaigrette (Serves 6)

  • 8 to 10 cups salad greens or mesclun mix
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • ½ cup good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the salad greens in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour enough dressing on the salad to moisten. Toss and serve.

Ina’s Roasted Figs and Prosciutto

Roasted Figs & Prosciutto

  • 20 large fresh ripe figs
  • 20 thin slices Italian prosciutto (about 8 ounces)
  • Good olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Snip the hard stems off the figs and cut the figs in half lengthwise through the stem. With a small sharp knife, cut the prosciutto lengthwise into inch-wide strips. Wrap a strip of prosciutto around the center of each fig half, with the ends overlapping. Brush with olive oil and arrange cut side up on a sheet pan.

Roast the figs for 10 minutes, until the prosciutto is a little crisp and the figs are warmed through. Serve warm.

Ina’s Parmesan and Chipotle Popcorn

Parmesan and Chipotle Popcorn

  • 1 bag microwave popcorn, such as Newman’s Own Natural
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup finely grated Italian Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons fleur de sel
  • Microwave the popcorn for 3 to 5 minutes, according to the directions on the package, until the popcorn stops popping. Carefully pour the hot popcorn into a large bowl and immediately pour on the butter, then the Parmesan, chile powder, and salt. Toss well and serve hot.

Photo: Quentin Bacon

  • For the Shrimp:
  • 2 pounds (12 to 15 count) shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup Heinz chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup Heinz ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place them on a sheet pan with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread them in one layer. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes, just until pink and firm and cooked through. Set aside to cool.

For the sauce, combine the chili sauce, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco.

Serve as a dip with the shrimp.

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Zuchini and Goat Cheese Tart

Zucchini & Goat Cheese Tart


  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) cold unsalted butter, ½-inch-diced
  • ½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons ice water
  • 1½ pounds zucchini, unpeeled and sliced ⅛ inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces plain creamy goat cheese, such as Montrachet, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest

Place the flour, ¾ teaspoon of salt, and the butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse 12 to 14 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the processor running, pour the vinegar and ice water through the feed tube and continue to process and pulse until the dough just comes together. Dump out on a floured board, form into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the zucchini in a colander set over a plate. Toss it with 2 teaspoons of salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Spread the zucchini out on a clean dish towel, roll it up, and squeeze gently to remove some of the liquid. Put the zucchini slices into a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. With a fork, mash together the goat cheese, thyme, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the dough out on a floured board to an 11-inch circle and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spread the dough with the goat cheese mixture, leaving a ½-inch border. Lay the zucchini slices in tightly overlapping circles, starting at the very edge of the -pastry (the zucchini will shrink when it bakes). Continue over-lapping circles of zucchini until the whole tart is covered. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Cut in wedges and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Tried-And-True Holiday Recipes From Barefoot Contessa was last modified: by

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