Snacks for Dinner
Small Bites, Full Plates, Can't Lose
The author of Start Simple redefines “dinner” in this creative cookbook that elevates snacks and grazing foods to main-course status, filled with 100 recipes and 75 color photos.
ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED COOKBOOKS OF 2022—Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Bookriot
We’ve all been there. Pressed for time, patience, or the will to cook yet another meal, we turn to eating snacks for dinner. While these “meals” are often thrown together, there is no denying that grazing on smaller bites is less stressful and often more pleasurable than planning and preparing a traditional meal.
In Snacks for Dinner, Volger transforms carefree noshing into nourishing meals with recipes to inspire your own make-from-scratch snack spreads that are not only quick to makes, but also deeply satisfying. The perfect snack-y dinner revolves around 7 main components:
Crispy-Crunchy: Savory Bites
Tangy-Juicy: Pickles & Marinades
Scooped and Smeared: Dips & Spreads
Centerpiece-ish: A Little Heartier
Small but Mighty: Spoon Salads & Soup Shots
Vessels: Crackers, Breads, & Chips
Sips-Sweets: Drinks & Desserts
Volger shows how these flavorful components can be mixed and matched to create a palate-pleasing meal. Following Volger’s guidance, you may start out with a few Smoky Glazed Pistachios for crunch and add some zesty Orange & Mustard Marinated Asparagus with a side of Honey Pickled Shallots. Craving something creamy? Try a Toasted Walnut and Feta Dip or Gingery Green Tahini with homemade Nut & Seed Crackers or crudités. The possibilities are endless. Best of all, many of these bites can be made ahead and stored in the fridge or pantry for easy assembly.
With Volger’s simple, wholesome, recipes and pairing guidance, snacks for dinner is no longer shameful—but a healthy, fun, and respectable choice.
The ho-hum "balanced" meal is satisfyingly reimagined in this flexible assortment of finger foods from culinary editor Volger (Start Simple). Arguing a simple assemblage of small bites can be just as "complete" as an elaborate dinner, Volger offers up a snack-style approach to eating that "decenter" what he deems fillers starchy foods like pasta or bread and puts vegetables first. In one recipe, leaves of Brussels sprouts become crisped chips after 20 minutes in the oven, while, elsewhere, baked parsnip fries a revelation as they caramelize get paired with a green chile sunflower seed romesco sauce. Various homemade spreads are offered up including a rich and tangy blend of toasted walnut and feta ("the perfect excuse," Volger writes, "to eat a whole block of cheese in one sitting") but store-bought items are encouraged in the name of ease, such as a good-quality ricotta in place of the decadent made-from-scratch recipe provided. Among the many tempting dishes are a texture-rich salad of lentils, carrots, dates, and dill and a silky eggplant-chickpea dip with radishes or grilled bread. Desserts, meanwhile, can be as sweet and simple as dates stuffed with cheddar and honey, or a one-bowl almond cake topped with pistachios and sliced plums. The snacking game gets a definite upgrade in this winning collection.