Gluten Free/Vegetarian Hors D' Oeuvres Suggestions
Thanks to all! I ended up making falafels with three types of dip. A heavy dish, but I made them into small, bite-size balls. I found a few things that might be helpful to others:
1. Temperature: Many recipes called for frying at 375. I tried this and the results were very good, but what I noticed when frying at 350 was that the inside was more uniformly cooked and fluffier.
2. Greens: One cup of greens to 1 bag of chickpeas seems to be a solid ratio. I found many recipes calling for 3T of herbs, which seemed a bit slim to me. I used 1 bag of dried chickpeas to 1 cup of parsley mixed with a handful of basil. The next time I make them I will experiment with dill, arugula, cilantro, or tarragon.
3. Cook vs. Fry: I baked a few to test a healthier option but found that while they're acceptable, I was missing the crunch I look forward to in a falafel. Also, frying gave them the vibrant green color I was hoping for, as opposed to cooking that left them the same beige as they went in.
Endive spears with a good spoonful of wild rice salad (w/ nuts and currants and soy mayo, if you like, are delicious....
Cubed marinated tofu kabobs, side of sunomono
mini-caprese: cherry tomatoes stuffed with soy mozzarella, basil, drizzle of oil..
Lentil pate, flaxseed crackers
Crudite with dipping oils, baked garlic, etc.
personally, i'd go with some light, and slightly acidic to contrast with the creamy richness of the main. like...
-balsamic grilled veggies - eggplant rounds, mushroom caps, broccoli, sliced artichokes, cherry tomatoes, etc. maybe seasoned with a little garlic and bail or oregano
-can't go wrong with an assortment of olives
-as suggested above, stuffed endive leaves
-melon wrapped with prosciutto and basil
-skewers of cherry tomatoes, basil and mozzarella balls (i know i said to cut the rich :) ) with some olive oil and balsamic
-miso marinated and sauteed wild mushrooms on rice crackers or just sauteed and with a little walnut pesto on the crackers
-or even seasoned kale chips
...sounds like a yummy night!
since the dinner will be heavy, starchy and cheesey, i'd skip anything like that for an app.
what about chilled steamed asparagus wrapped in cantaloupe slices?
veggie sausage is actually kinda palatable, so you could stuff mushrooms with that, some parsley and chopped nuts (use an egg to bind, with some lemon zest.)
cherry tomatoes stuffed with herb salad?
endive leaves, or lettuce cups, filled with apple, walnut, fennel, grape salad? or tomato, corn and basil?
a plate of marinated veggies, like eggplant, peppers and artichoke hearts?
roasted pepper dip, side by side with gingered carrot dip, with celery and cukes to dip?
i almost always have spiced nuts and olives out too.
- gazpacho shooters
- artichoke tapenade
- sun-dried tomato & olive tapenade
- bean dip (fava, black bean, white bean, hummus...)
- tomatoes, peppadews, mushrooms and/or baby zucchini stuffed with herbed ricotta or chevre
- polenta "fries" with dipping sauce
- spiced, roasted chickpeas
- spiced nuts
any of the dips or spreads can be served on cucumber rounds or GF crackers, or with crudites for dipping.
This is a favorite of mine. Not sure about the miso -- I think barley miso is not gluten-free, but many others can be. It's a mushroom - lentil - walnut paté from Totally Dairy-Free Cooking by Louis Lanza. The recipe is currently here:
It's pretty forgiving, so don't worry too much if you have to fudge it a little. I recommend using a mortar and pestle (and a little coarse salt) to grind the bay leaf; you can cook the lentils (I recommend Du Puy) with a bay leaf also. I often serve it with something wheat-based, but it's great with rice crackers; I'm sure you can find gluten-free ones.