Hors d’oeuvres (pronounced “or-dervs”), or appetisers, are welcoming morsels designed to wake up the appetite and sustain your guests until the meal is served. Hors d’oeuvres can also be served without a meal following, such as at a reception or cocktail party, and can be served at the table as part of the sit-down meal. 

Fresh hand-made hors d’oeuvres are delicious, but are often time-consuming and complicated to make. life’s a feast offers these suggestions for stylish, store-bought hors d’oeuvres that can be served with a minimum of fuss:

  • Good quality dips (preferably bought from a deli or gourmet store – avoid the more commercial brands). Dress them up with a garnish such as chopped herbs.

  • Paté (good quality, from a deli or gourmet store)

  • Crudités (raw vegetable sticks or strips) – include any of the following:
     – sticks of carrots, julienned (cut into narrow strips)
     – sticks of celery, julienned
     – snow peas
     – green beans, ends trimmed and blanched in water for 1 minute
     – asparagus spears (tough bottoms trimmed) blanched in boiling water for 30 seconds
     – capsicum cut into strips
     – radishes, trimmed and served whole or cut in half
     – cherry tomatoes
     – button mushrooms, cleaned

  • Crackers, tiny toasts, melba toasts, lavash crackers, grissini (Italian breadsticks), baglettes, rice    crackers (great for your gluten intolerant guests)

  • Ready made pastry cups – fill with dip topped with a garnish or cream cheese, smoked salmon and a dill sprig

  • Olives – marinated, stuffed, plain (don’t forget to put out a dish for the pips)

  • Turkish bread served with good olive oil and Dukkah (dry mixture of chopped nuts, seeds and Middle Eastern spices and flavours)

  • Good nuts – pistachios (don’t forget a dish for the shells), smoked almonds, flavoured macadamias

  • Wasabi peas or broad beans

  • Cheese platter – choose several different varieties, and serve with fresh or dried fruit (eg. apple slices, grapes, dried apricots or figs) and quince paste

  • Dolmades (Greek stuffed vine leaves, available fresh from deli’s or in tins)

  • Sushi

  • Cooked prawns, peeled with tails left on and served with good mayonnaise mixed with fresh herbs and a little lemon juice, or pesto

  • Antipasto platter – include any of the following:
     – olives
     – semi-dried tomatoes
     – cured meats (eg. salami, prosciutto)
     – marinated feta or goat cheese
     – smoked salmon
     – char grilled capsicum or eggplant
     – grissini
     – cherry tomatoes
     – marinated artichokes
     – marinated mushrooms
     – good store bought pesto

roast beef & horseradish cups
easy appetisers
(click on photo to view larger image)

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  1. Life’s a Feast makes it look easy – and it is. I’ve cooked for many years but have always considered appertisers difficult and not within my ability. Not any more – I’ve learned that there is sophistication in simplicity. Kudos, Life’s a Feast.

  2. Great list of appetisers!

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