Between the numerous cocktail parties and open houses, it can be difficult eating healthfully during the holidays. Hors d’oeuvres, in particular, can be challenging. In order to create a pop full of flavour in a small mouthful of food, fat and salt tend to be used liberally.
I’ve made a list (and checked it twice) of naughty and nice hors d’oeuvres. While out celebrating or hosting your own event, do your best to avoid those items on The Naughty List. Instead, enjoy creating & eating sinless and delicious hors d’oeuvres from The Nice List.
- Deep fried anything
- Mini pastries, sausage rolls, quiches & knishes
- Spanakopitas and other stuffed phyllo pastries
- Mayonnaise-based dips like crab and spinach
- Excess cheese & crackers –
- A little bit of cheese is just fine; however, it is easy to keep lopping off a chunk as you pass by the buffet table. Choose your favourite, enjoy a luscious piece or two and leave the cracker behind.
The Nice List
- Edamame & Pecorino on Endive (see recipe below)
- Sashimi grade tuna on cucumber with wasabi & cilantro
- Ginger chicken skewers
- Smoked trout on cucumber
- Simple seafood – prawns, crab, oysters with a squeeze of lemon
- Crudités with herbed yogurt dip or hummus
- Handful of nuts spiced with turmeric, chilli, cumin and coriander
- Deviled eggs
1 head of endive
1 cup of cooked edamame beans
1 oz of pecorino cheese cut into small cubes
2 green onions, finely diced
Drizzle of best quality olive oil (option: use part olive oil and part truffle oil)
Juice of ½ a lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Separate, wash and dry the endive leaves. Boil edamame for four minutes. If they are still in pods, take the beans out, cool under cold water, pat dry and place in bowl. Finely dice the whites of the green onion and add to bowl. Cube the pecorino and keep separate. Drizzle about 1 -2 teaspoons of good quality olive or truffle oil over the edamame mix and the juice of half a lemon. Add salt and freshly ground pepper. Let the mix marry in the fridge for a few hours (if you have the time).
Spoon the edamame mix onto the endive leaves. Add a few pieces of cubed pecorino to each endive. You may need to trim the base of the longer, outer endive leaves so they are not too large.
Makes about 10 hors d’oeuvres.