Pears with Blue Cheese and Chives, Grilled Skewered Chicken with Cilantro Tomatillo Dipping Sauce, and Dill Biscuits with Smoked Trout, presented with bowls of olives and salted pecans, make for a full-bodied cocktail hour.
8 great hor d'oeurve recipes
• Smoked Salmon and Dill Butter Canapés• Southern-style Biscuits• Grilled Skewered Chicken with cilantro Tomatillo Dipping Sauce• Chive and Buckwheat Blini with Salmon Caviar• Parsley-Basil Pesto with Prosciutto on Bruschetta• Herbed Goat Cheese in Endive Spears• Pears with Blue Cheese and Chives• Red Potato Tortilla with Rosemary and Parmesan Cheese
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with serving chips and salsa to accompany cocktails, special holiday meals often call for fancier beginnings. Why not offer a selection of tasty little nibbles—redolent with fresh herbs—that your guests will remember long after the party’s over?
Herbs give the following simple recipes both flavor and visual appeal. Most of these hors d’oeuvres can be made ahead of time (always a plus), and none requires tricky pastry techniques, special equipment, or hard-to-find ingredients.
Consider serving at least three different hors d’oeuvres—more if you have time—so that guests have a choice. Include something cold and crisp (pears), something meaty (chicken), and something starchy (biscuits, blini, or potatoes). A bowl of salted pecans and a dish of mixed olives will flesh out the menu. But no matter how delicious your hors d’oeuvres may be, if guests are also invited for dinner, keep the cocktail period short: 45 minutes to an hour is long enough.
Sally King is a Virginia-based freelance writer whose USDA Zone 8 herb garden produces through Thanksgiving.