As an event stylist and dinner party aficionado, I have done quite a few dinner parties both for my business and for myself. There are a few hors d'oeuvres that I can't do without and they make any dinner party look pretty spectacular! Dinner parties to me are the epitome of cool; I mean who doesn't love a reason to get dressed up and hang out with some of your favourite people for an evening?
Okay, so Hors d'oeuvres Number one: The Caprese salad
This is one of the easiest summer hors d'oeuvres and one of the tastiest! It's also great in winter as well, by just substituting roasted tomatoes for fresh ones. winter recipe: here
- 2 cups Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 whole Ripe Tomatoes, Sliced Thick
- 12 ounces, weight Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced Thick
- Fresh Basil Leaves
- Olive Oil, For Drizzling
- Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
In a small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium-low heat. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes, or until balsamic has reduced to a thicker glaze. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl or cruet. Allow to cool.
When you're ready to serve, arrange tomato and mozzarella slices on a platter. Arrange basil leaves between the slices. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the salad, getting a little bit on each slice. Do the same with the balsamic reduction.
End with a sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper. Serve with crusty bread.
Deux: Mini Zucchini Or Caramelized onion goat cheese tarts
I love this one! It's tasty, it's easy, it's.... MINI! What can be better than that? Plus you feel extra fancy just eating something that tiny and elegant.
1 refrigerated pie crust (half of 15-ounce package)
2 1/2 pounds 1-inch-diameter zucchini, cut into 1/16- to 1/8-inch-thick rounds
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
2 teaspoons chopped fresh lemon thyme or regular thyme
3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place pie crust on floured work surface. Using 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-inch cookie cutter or biscuit cutter dipped in flour, cut out 24 rounds; transfer to prepared sheet, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Place in freezer until dough is firm, about 30 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; keep frozen.
Toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Let stand 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Place zucchini in another medium bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and thyme. Sprinkle zucchini with pepper.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread goat cheese generously over each frozen dough round. Fold 3 to 4 zucchini slices in half and place in concentric circle atop 1 dough round, creating flower-like pattern. Repeat with remaining zucchini and dough (reserve any remaining zucchini for another use). Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until crusts are light golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer to platter. Drizzle lightly with additional olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Troisieme fois est le charme: Endive with roasted pecans, blue cheese & fig
This is one heckuva an appetizer! It's elegant, it's sweet, salty and a little bit funky in a good way. I'm a real cheese head and a bit of a blue cheese connoisseur and this recipe doesn't disappoint and it's so very easy to make!
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
24 pecan halves
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
6 fresh figs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
3 heads Belgian endive
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Heat the oven to 400°F. Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat until foaming. Add pecans, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Cook, stirring often, until sugars dissolve and mixture bubbles. Turn mixture onto a piece of aluminum foil or waxed paper, set in a dry place, and let cool.
Quarter figs lengthwise, toss in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven until just soft, about 10 minutes.
Trim off the bottoms of the endive and separate the heads into leaves. Choose the best 24 leaves (do not use the hearts). Place 1 fig quarter and 1 teaspoon of the blue cheese on each leaf. Top with a pecan and serve.
Next blog will be covering 3 easy cocktails to serve at your shindig...so be sure to tune in for that!
So, I hope that this gets you excited about hosting your next dinner party and if you need a little help in styling, designing and otherwise prettifying your next event, dinner party or wedding.... well you know who to call :) psst... check out some of our work here: Events and our feature here: Montreal Gazette
Also, we love a good beauty regimen... head on over to our favourite beauty blog in Edinburgh There goes Claire for interesting little tidbits on Edinburgh beauty, fashion and food!
Autumn Wood Stylist is a bespoke wedding, event & dinner party stylist co. in Montreal, Quebec. We also specialize in photo-styling, prop-styling and creative direction.