I have a fond memories of relish trays. My grandmother always set out a divided crystal platter loaded with olives, pickles and carrots at the holidays, my mother’s version while similar, was done in a tupperware container. While I am sure the purpose of the relish tray is to offer a light snack until the larger holiday meal, there is just something about a relish that slows things down a bit during the holidays, people linger nibble, and chat.
Perhaps part of my fondness of this tradition comes from my love of snacking and grazing on marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, crunchy pickles and salty olives. Or maybe because I prefer lighter bites and casual conversation that always seem to happen around the relish tray. Whatever it is, I have continued on with the tradition.
While I love the nostalgia of large relish trays, I have reinvented the relish tray at my own gatherings. Instead of a divided platter, I prefer small clusters of bowls of all the traditional relish tray items. I also include my own new addition, an effortless recipe that combines relish tray mainstays into a party favorite spread.
- 1 cup Mezzetta Greek pitted Kalamata olives
- 1 cup Mezzetta Super Colossal Spanish Pimento Stuffed Olives
- 1 jar Mezzetta Roasted Bell Peppers, drained and chopped
- 1 tablespoon red onion, finely minced
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Pinch Herbs de Provence
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 8 oz feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Place the olives, onion, garlic and roasted bell pepper in a mixing bowl.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and oregano. Season to taste with a pinch of salt, pepper
- Pour the dressing over the olive mixture. Mix gently. For best flavor let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Before serving stir in feta cheese
- Serve with baguette slices.
Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Spread is the perfect appetizer recipe for your relish tray. The holidays are busy enough. I love low stress and easy recipes that can be made quickly and in advance so I can get out of the kitchen and get back to making memories with my friends and family.
Does your family do a relish tray? What are your classic relish tray snacks and what have you added over the years?