Everyone knows how to make tomato bruschetta. Everyone loves tomato bruschetta. Everyone knows that if you’re enjoying tomato bruschetta in the winter, there’s something wrong with that picture. Dare to divert, people.

You needn’t forsake bread, snacking, and the singular joy of the appetizer just because it’s not quite tomato season. Luckily there are plenty of options for throwing together a few simple starters that will keep your guests quiet, happy and, most importantly, out of the kitchen.

Opt for an easier, cheaper variation on your standard liver spread, like a nut paté. Other crowd pleasers include a utilitarian chickpea cream or a bright and lively green romesco dip - both taste great on some toasty gluten. For the fish lovers in the house, schmear on some anchovy butter (be generous) or top some broiled bread points with creme fraiche, beet cured salmon and fennel fronds.

Really the moral of the story here is listen to Mother Earth and dress up some seasonal, canned or cured staples rather than falling back on the same, basic, well-traveled tomatoes who don’t even want to be here this time of year anyway.