Cooking with Solveig: Reunion Appetizers

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Any of our 100th Reunion attendees could tell you that they didn’t leave the weekend hungry! In typical Greystone fashion, the food was plentiful and delicious.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the nightly cocktail parties at the Shepherd’s Gazebo. We enjoyed drinks and appetizers in the most beautiful place imaginable as the sun began to set - idyllic!

Today Solveig is sharing the incredible recipes she used to create our cocktail party spread… just in time for football tailgates and all of your Holiday parties. Dig in!

White Bean Dip

Makes 6 generous servings


  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed*
  • 2 cloves garlic (I used more)
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice (I used less)
  • 1/3 C extra virgin olive oil (I used less, but topped the tip when serving with evoo)
  • 1/4 C (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • ¼ t finely minced fresh rosemary leaves (we used a little more)
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture is coarsely chopped.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.
  3. Drizzle the dip with evoo and freshly grated Parmesan cheese when ready to serve.

I made the beans from scratch. I used great northern beans. Rinse and pick out any stones. Soak over night. Rinse well. Place beans in a large stock pot and cover with your preferred stock (I used veggie), 1 large quartered onion, 1 large carrot cut into large pieces, 2 pieces of celery with leaves cut into large pieces. Bring to a boil and simmer until beans are tender (not mushy). Let beans cool in juices until ready to make dip. Drain beans and either mash by hand or follow steps above.

Spiced Nuts


  • 18 ounces (3 2/3 cups) assorted unsalted nuts
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 T fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 t cayenne (I like them spicy!))
  • 2 t dark brown sugar
  • 1 t kosher salt
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts on a tray and toast for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant.
  2. While they’re toasting, whisk butter, rosemary, cayenne, sugar and salt in the bottom of a large bowl. When nuts are toasted, add them to bowl and stir A LOT to evenly coat.
  3. Spread back on tray (I think it’s helpful if you use a silicone baking mat on the tray) and toast for another 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve warm in bowls.

Nuts are also good at room temperature, and keep for weeks in airtight jars. Katie’s trick is to retoast them if they haven’t caramelized enough - it’s the real secret to success!

Pimento Cheese


  • 8 ounces FRESHLY GRATED extra-sharp cheddar cheese (I used a combo of smoked swiss, Monterey Jack, and the sharpest cheddar I could find)
  • ¼ C softened cream cheese (2 ounces), room temperature
  • Scant 1/2 C jarred pimento or other roasted red peppers (from a 7-ounce jar), finely diced
  • 3 T Duke’s, Hellmann’s or other high-quality store-bought mayonnaise
  • 1 t Dijon mustard (you might like more)
  • ¼ - ½ t granulated garlic
  • ½ t dried red chile flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Use pimento juice for thinning
  1. Place the cream cheese in a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add all ingredients and beat until combined.

I like to make this in advance so the flavors meld well. Pimento cheese keeps in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Serve with celery, small hallowed out mini peppers, crackers, make grilled cheese

Basic Bruschetta


  • 12 to 14 fresh ripe plum tomatoes (about 1¾ pounds) - seeded and small dice
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 2 T minced shallots
  • 1 C fresh basil leaves course chop (best to do by hand)
  • 1 t fresh lemon Juice
  • Salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ C extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic glaze to taste
  • Drizzle of honey if needed to balance sweetness

Balsamic Glaze Ingredients:

    • 1 C balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ C brown sugar
  1. Cut the tomatoes into ¼-inch dice and place in a bowl. Toss with the minced garlic and shallots.
  2. Chop the basil coarsely and add to the tomatoes, along with the lemon juice, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Set aside. You may want to add more evoo when serving.
  3. Mix balsamic vinegar with brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until glaze is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Glaze should coat the back of a spoon. Let cool and pour into a jar with a lid; store in refrigerator. We used this on the antipasto skewers as well at the Reunion.