Easy appetizers: Crostinis, scallops, and cheese fondue

Keep your guests' hunger pangs at bay! These easy appetizers from Claire Tansey are perfect for snacking on.

Keep your guests’ hunger pangs at bay! These easy appetizers from Chatelaine‘s Claire Tansey are perfect for snacking on while you finish preparing dinner.

Easy crostini toasts

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 min
Makes: 24 crostini toasts


  • 1 demi-baguette, cut into 1/4-in. slices, about 24 total


Preheat oven to 400 °F. Arrange baguette slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet.

Toast in centre of oven until golden, about 8 minutes.

Goat cheese, grape and rosemary topping


  • 15 g goat cheese
  • 2 cups seedless grapes
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt


Toss the grapes with olive oil, salt and 1 tsp chopped rosemary on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 °F until grapes start to shrink, for about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack.

Cool for 5 minutes. Spread the goat cheese on crostini toasts and top with roasted grapes. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped rosemary.

Gorgonzola, walnuts and honey topping


  • 48 walnut halves, about 2 cups
  • 125 g Gorgonzola cheese
  • Honey, to taste


Arrange walnut halves on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 °F until golden, or about 3 to 5 minutes.

Spread the Gorgonzola cheese on crostini toasts. Top with walnuts and drizzle with honey, then serve.


Maple-Seared Scallops

Serves: 8
Per serving: 61 calories, 8 g protein, 3 g carbs, 2 g fat, 85 mg sodium. Excellent source of vitamin B12.


  • 400 g pkg PC Blue Menu sustainably sourced wild Nova Scotian frozen jumbo sea scallops, thawed
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp PC 100% pure medium maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp PC Black Label Peri Peri spice blend
  • Large leaves of baby spinach, for garnish


Pat scallops dry with paper towel.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high. Add oil, then scallops. Cook for 1 minute, then flip and cook 1 more minute on the other side.

Transfer scallops to a plate and reduce heat to medium.

Add water, maple syrup and any scallop juices to pan. Stir until syrupy, for about 15 seconds. Brush maple mixture over scallops and sprinkle with spice blend.

Serve each scallop on a baby spinach leaf.


Cheddar-Gruyere Fondue

Serves: 12
Per serving: 212 calories, 11 g protein, 4 g carbs, 16 g fat, 204 mg sodium. Good source of vitamin B12.


  • 250 g pkg PC 1-year-old Canadian white cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 225 g pkg Gruyère cheese, finely grated
  • 5 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups India Pale Ale beer, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce


Combine cheeses in a large bowl. Sprinkle with dry mustard and 2 tbsp flour. Toss until well coated.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in remaining flour.

Boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until mixture is lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Gradually pour in beer and Worcestershire sauce, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to come to a boil and is thick, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Gradually add cheese (a handful at a time) stirring constantly until cheese melts completely after each addition.

Mixture should be thick and very smooth. Scrape into a fondue pot. Serve with bread, apples, potatoes and sausages.

Cooking tip: Cut a baguette into cubes to serve with your fondue. Apples can be sliced into wedges while cooked baby potatoes can be halved. Cooked or cured sausages can be sliced.

Courtesy Claire Tansey