Entertaining: 10 Brilliant No-Fuss Things to Serve with Cocktails
As often as not, entertaining is a spur-of-the-moment thing. Here are some fun and easy nibbles to pick up at the last minute that pair beautifully with drinks and will surely be welcomed at your next spontaneous get-together.
1. Antipasti artfully arranged on a platter (or even better – an old rustic cutting board): Fresh mozzarella, salami slices, paper-thin slices of prosciutto, marinated artichoke hearts, slices of peasant bread, grissini (thin bread sticks) and dried fruit, like plump Medjool dates.
2. Salted Marcona almonds or a big bowl of roasted pistachios in their shell.
3. Slices of good smoked salmon on buttered brown bread topped with a dollop of crème fraîche and snipped chives for garnish.
4. Add some chopped tomato to store-bought guacamole (Try all-natural Wholly Guacamole!) and serve with a colorful mix of tortilla chips.
5. Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves) Dress up purchased dolmades with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. Season with some freshly ground black pepper and garnish with a flurry of minced parsley and toasted pine nuts.
6. Make a delicious bruschetta: Brush thin slices of a baguette with some olive oil and toast under the broiler until lightly browned. Top with slices of jarred roasted red peppers and some Gorgonzola cheese; return to the oven for a minute or two to warm the cheese. Garnish with some minced fresh basil.
7. Store-bought hummus. Place in a pretty bowl, drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil and garnish with chickpeas. Serve with toasted pita triangles.
8. Make Spanish toast: With the side of your chef’s knife, smash a clove of garlic and peel. Slice a ripe tomato in half. Brush slices of crusty bread with extra-virgin olive oil and broil until golden. Rub each slice of the toasted bread with the garlic and the cut side of the tomato.
9. Warm Brie and Pear Tartlets: Fill purchased mini tart shells with a slice of Brie and finely diced ripe pear. Sprinkle over a little fresh thyme; drizzle with a little honey. Bake on a parchment-line baking sheet at 375 until the cheese is bubbling, about 7 minutes.
10. Select a mix of gourmet olives, add some minced garlic, a splash of extra-virgin olive oil and garnish with fresh herbs and slivers of citrus zest.
When time is short, these easy-to-put-together bites are just the ticket – the ticket to entertaining in an instant.
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