No Utensils: Tips on Appetizer-Ready Portions Without Toothpicks
Want to serve your favorite salad as an appetizer but don’t want people walking around balancing a fork and knife? Or scanning the room for a place to stash a used toothpick? Almost any food can be transformed to appetizer-ready individual portions with a few tricks.
Here are a few edible vehicles for serving appetizers. Your food will look more sophisticated and you’ll reduce the waste generated by paper cups and toothpicks (hold off on eliminating napkins, however!).
• Endive Leaves – A small, firm leaf of endive works as an edible cup for salad, hummus, and even guacamole. Try filling with fresh cut roasted corn for a deconstructed version of grilled Mexican corn!
• Crackers and Toasts (or Potato Chips!) – These are no-brainers, but still a great tip. Cheeses, spreads, and dips – these can all bring out the herd mentality in hungry guests and keep them pooled around the serving tray. Pre-assemble a dollop of cheese on a cracker (or potato chips!) and your guests will be more likely to mingle. Putting these together in advance also allows you to add a garnish like fig jam or a few chives.
• Natural Stems and Cups – There are plenty of foods that don’t need a toothpick and can be easily handled in their natural state. Try roasted shishito peppers, stuffed jalapenos, cucumber cups, and dressed up potato skins.
How do you serve bite-sized appetizers?
Related: Entertaining: How Much to Serve at a Cocktail Party
(Images: John Kernick/Gourmet; Michael Natkin/Serious Eats)