My family has a tradition of taking in a seasonally themed performing arts event just before Christmas each year. For many years, this meant a trip to see the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's holiday pops concert at Powell Symphony Hall. This was always a treat (especially for a music lover like me), but scheduling conflicts in recent years have forced us to seek out other options. One year this meant attending a Trans Siberian Orchestra concert at the Savvis Center. This was an interesting alternative, but I think my tolerance of insane electronic guitar riffs is maxed out at one hour, not two, and arena shows are, by nature, rather impersonal. This year Dad purchased tickets to a production of White Christmas at the Fox Theatre. The costumes and dance numbers were outstanding, and who wouldn't be moved into the holiday spirit by listening to those classic songs penned by Irving Berlin? Next year I hope we can make it back to the Symphony, but if not, I wouldn't be disappointed to spend another evening at the Fox. With its grand architecture and festively decorated lobbies, our annual holiday outing seemed extra special!
This recipe is all of the deliciousness of an antipasto platter combined in one dish. I made it for last year's Christmas Eve party, and it was so simple to prepare and well received that I am seriously considering making it again this year. (Highly unusual since I normally make one or two new appetizers each year.) You could make this and serve it right away, but I do think it benefits from chilling for a few hours to let the flavors draw through. Adding marinated artichoke hearts, garbanzo beans, or capers might be a nice variation on the basic recipe below.
A recipe from the Smitten Kitchen
Yields about 2 cups
1/2 pound feta (cow’s milk)
2/3 cup sundried tomatoes in oil
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons fresh dill
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Crumble the feta into a bowl. Chop the tomatoes and olives, dill and parsley and thinly slice the scallions. Gently mix the ingredients together and drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil to taste. Chill or serve at room temperature.