Looking for your absolute favorite hors d'oeuvres recipes. More specifically, I'm throwing a (surprise birthday) fondue party this Friday night. Since not everyone wants to have ONLY cheese for dinner, I'd like to have a handful of of other munchies available. Bonus points for:

-- Including, or linking to, the entire recipe
-- Recipes that are simple to prepare
-- Recipes that can be prepared in advance
-- Recipes that are on the healthier side. On other words, I'm hoping to get a few recipes that are free of sides of bacon and sticks of butter.

So let's have it. Show me the depths of the Food52 community. Oh, and as an added incentive, I'll set aside a few portions of my favorite recipe and walk them over to Amanda - she's a neighbor of mine. ;-)

  • Posted by: Peter
  • October 13, 2010


Savour October 14, 2010
If you want to stick with the dipping theme this is one of my favorites and very healthy; http://savour-fare.com/2010/01/01/ring-in-the-new-year-with-black-eyed-pea-and-3-pepper-salsa

Deviled Eggs are also always popular -- here's one of my faves:


foodfighter October 14, 2010
I like caprese skewers. If you can get some good small, sweet tomatoes, and roast them. Then dress them with pesto and put them on a skewer with some good mozzerella. You can drizzle a little reduce balsamic glaze on them as well.
ChefJune October 14, 2010
I have one for you. these Spinach Balls are so easy and so good, I try never to be without a supply in my freezer. They're so easy to pull out for an impromptu party. I make 'em when I have a bit of extra time. The Mustard Sauce is very versatile, as well.

Spinach Balls with Mustard Sauce

70 pieces

2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
2 cups herb stuffing mix, crushed
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup firmly packed freshly grated
2 small green onions, finely chopped
3 large eggs
5 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
dash of nutmeg
Mustard Sauce

Combine all ingredients except mustard sauce, and mix well.
Shape into 1-inch balls.
Bake on ungreased baking sheet in a preheated 375 degree F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Mustard Sauce
½ cup dry mustard
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 large egg yolk

Combine mustard and vinegar. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 4 hours.
Mix sugar and egg yolk in a small saucepan. Add mustard-vinegar mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Cover and chill.
Serve at room temperature.
jdeslaur October 14, 2010
I swear by this, you can make a few days in advance, its quick and packs a flavorful slap in the teeth.


Oh and they look awesome!
healthierkitchen October 14, 2010
Here are a couple of fish ideas:

1. tuna tartare: http://www.food52.com/recipes/4797_spicy_tuna_tartare

2. smoked trout pate: http://healthierkitchen.blogspot.com/2009/11/and-now-for-something-little-different.html

I'd probably put out some purchased olives as well, to cut the richness of the fondue dishes.

have fun!!

luvcookbooks October 14, 2010
re purposing this recipe as a dip for steamed asparagus this w/e
also like a beautiful fruit platter when serving a rich hors douevre
mangoes make a beautiful platter, can get grapes at union sq farmer's mkt, apples and pears but careful about browning, starfruit are pretty, also like exotics like longan, rambutan, quenepas lychees if you can get them. conversation pieces and so fun for kids...
gingerroot October 14, 2010
Here is my riff on the stuffed date, sans bacon or butter:
Pecans can be made in advance and dates are best stuffed right before eating, although sitting in the fridge for an hour won't hurt as long as they come up to room temp before eating.
iuzzini October 13, 2010
oops- forgot- toss some roasted corn into the quesadillas as well. :)
pierino October 13, 2010
One more for the show, these veal meatballs are "finger food" or at least toothpick food. http://www.food52.com/recipes/6273_polpette_di_vitello_tonnato_style
iuzzini October 13, 2010
Sausage stuffed pepadew peppers
1- Get some spicy italian chicken sausage and remove from casing (season w more pepper or red pepper and fennel seed if needed)
2- Sautee (break it up with your spoon) until browned
3- Stuff about a .5 tsp into each pepadew
4- Grate some parmesan over the top
5- Bake at 375 until heated through (less than 15 min probably)
6- Plate and enjoy :)


1-Buy a bag of blue potato chips
2-Load a container of creme fraiche (but fat free greek yogurt might work here as well) into a ziplock bag or piping bag
3-Pipe a squiggle of creme fraiche onto each chip
4- Top with chopped chives or a tiny bit of salmon roe or wasabi roe if you can find it

Wrap some asparagus spears or small wedges of cantaloupe with proscuito (cover w a moist towel before serving)
Radishes served w a small dish of butter and salt

Kale quesadillas

1-Chop and sautee greens (any dark leafy greens you like- i used lacinato kale) in olive oil and garlic
2- Oil a hot skillet and layer the following: tortilla shell, sprinkle of shredded cheddar or whatever you like, a layer of kale, salsa, another small sprinkle of cheese, the top tortilla shell.
3- Cook until a little melty and the bottom tortilla is a bit brown and then gracefully flip and cook the other side. (You might be able to do this in the oven to make it easier) -
4- Cut into small triangles and serve w salsa

btw- Everyone always loves an antipasto platter ;)

ellenl October 13, 2010
These suggestions make me want to have a party!
AntoniaJames October 13, 2010
These Crispy Rosemary Walnuts are nice, if I do say so:


You need to plan ahead, what with the brining and long cooking time in a very slow oven, but they are elegant in their simplicity and very tasty, so well worth the minimal effort involved. ;o)
anyone October 13, 2010
Your looking for our absolute favorite hors d'oeuvres recipes and then you use the words "simple and healthy" with no butter or bacon. HMM... I got nothing!
mrslarkin October 13, 2010
These are easy peasy, fun to eat and healthy: http://www.food52.com/recipes/3080_edamame_with_sea_salt_and_lime

You can make this ahead, cut into bite size pieces, and serve at room temp:

Different, and still somewhat healthy, if you don't load up on the butter: http://www.food52.com/recipes/6614_roasted_radishes

Or a beautiful platter of tomatoes (if you can still find good ones) with basil strewn about: http://www.food52.com/recipes/377_greenmarket_tomatoes_with_basil_emulsion_and_whole_wheat_country_loaf

Have a great party!
AntoniaJames October 13, 2010
For my niece's wedding, I made (under directions from my sister, i.e., I didn't make up this recipe) some amazing, simple, not-cheese appetizers . . . . take a large date, remove the pit, stuff in one or two blanched almonds (depending on the size of the dates and almonds), wrap with 1/2 slice of good bacon, stick a toothpick through them, bake in a hot oven until the bacon is cooked, turning once or twice. I heard they were absolutely amazing. They disappeared almost instantly, while I was catching up with my aunt and cousin so, alas, I didn't have a chance to taste one. ;o)
drbabs October 13, 2010
Here's a link to my artichoke dip. It's easy, can be made ahead, and is relatively healthy: http://www.food52.com/recipes/4400_artichoke_dip_which_you_could_make_into_tapenade_by_adding_capers

You can serve it with plain pita chips or try these:
nutcakes October 13, 2010
I was at a fondue event once and the caterer had a baby vegetable platter with a coconut curry dipping sauce, to carry on the fondue theme. Beautiful and easy. Haricot vert, baby peppers, little squashes, pea pods. You could use cut veg and make them stick shaped. Use anything that's good raw, don't forget jicama sticks.

I once did a reception with tons of appetizers before the mains. I did roast asparagus, some wrapped with proscuitto, garlic and caper marinated roast pepper strips with toasted baguette slices, some with anchovies, shrimp marinated in lemon and spice, tiny meatballs in saffron sauce, shot classes of cold zucchini-cilantro soup (pitcher nearby on the buffet) and my favorite:

Grapes rolled in a mix of blue and cream cheeses, thined a little with a tbsp or two of cream, then rolled in chopped nuts and chilled. That can be done with goat cheese too. But you likely don't need more cheese?

Anyway, that one is from Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres handbook, a fantastic resource for you. Tons of great and healthy ideas, and interesting things like savory biscotti.

Ah here's a gem, if you can splurge on one rich dish. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chicken-liver-pate-march-2007

Not sure if this is 'the one' but at least similar. Any picked shrimp dish is delicious and appetizing.
whowantsdinner October 13, 2010
You're throwing a party. You must have a dip! Every time I serve Ina Garten's carmelized onion dip with potato chips, there's never a bit left. It's in the first Barefoot Contessa cookbook. I guarantee your guests will love it.
Jon P. October 13, 2010
One of my favorite appetizers consists of beet chips with pesto.

The beet chips don't have to be fried, they can be blanched and then baked as they are in this recipe:


I'd do it that way and omit all seasoning except a little salt.

From there, it's good to top with just about any kind of pesto. I had them with walnut and pomegranate pesto once, and they were great. It's nice if you can get a little bit of a sweet element in the pesto, because then they become the kind of sweet-salty appetizer that usually is a big crowd pleaser.
aargersi October 13, 2010
Nannydeb isn't wrong - these are never leftover, and nice because you can make them in advance!


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