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Need Hors d'oeuvres for Dinner Party

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I'm having a dinner party with a somewhat Italian flair - some kind of salad in parmesan cups, Giada's balsamic chicken, some kind of polenta, a simple green veggie and panna cotta for dessert. Still some details to be worked out. But I want to serve some hors d'oeuvres before dinner. Nothing too filling, and on the elegance scale somewhere between chips with dip and blini with caviar and creme fraiche. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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  1. Bagna cauda with veggies? Use a fondue pot, if you have one or can borrow. Most vegetables would benefit from a quick blanch. Cut everything into one-bite pieces -- carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, scallions, asparagus, tiny potatoes (or potato chunks). Cherry tomatoes would not need a blanch. Use fondue forks for spearing.

    1. A classic Antipasti platter is never out of place. Pickled vegetables, sliced meats and cheese (look for unusual ones), etc. Of course don't forget bruschetta.

      1. Great suggestions so far! If you aren't serving tons of bread &/or rolls with dinner, maybe a crostini? I've saved this one to try soon:
        http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/wh...
        Or you could do a variety of crostini...the above one is not real colorful...I've seen a bunch of crostini recipes using artichokes, too.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Val

          I like a crostini as well and have had success with good toast spread with Trader Joe tapenade. They have a few. they are in jars and are quite good.

          1. re: lucyis

            Yes!!! Lucy, you reminded me of a recipe I saw the other day of a crostini with artichokes and tapenade...it didn't have any cheese, which many of the artichoke crostinis do.

            1. re: lucyis

              I like to pick up a container of bruschetta and mini-mozzarella balls from Trader Joes and serve with toasted baguette slices. I think they carry a couple different kinds. I prefer the one that's sold in the refrigerated section with all their other dips, it comes in a red, white and green container. Garlicky, tomatoey and delicious!

              1. re: gmm

                Oh, that's great to know, thanks. I normally never shop at Trader Joe's because the parking lot in the one closest to me is a zoo. But now I have an excuse to go.

          2. I'm cooling eggplant caponata right now. It's much better the next day but I snuck a few tastes (I'm a taster) and it's pretty fantastic. Came together fast too- just eggplants, onion, celery, garlic, parsley, green olives, capers, tomato paste, etc. Possibly a bit heavy, but we love it and it's sooooo much better aged.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Boccone Dolce

              Thanks everybody - these are great ideas. I'm going to use a little of each!