I attended a friend’s birthday party and these were a couple of simple but delicious hors-d’oeuvres that caught my attention.
The first and my favorite was cherry or perhaps grape tomatoes with mozzarella and fresh basil on skewers. The sweetness of the basil combined with the acidity of the tomatoes makes a delicious contrast. And any excuse for more cheese is a good one.
These are basically a Caprese salad on a stick, drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction.
To make the balsamic reduction, use 1 cup balsamic vinegar to 1/4 cup honey. Put it in a small saucepan, bring it to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and let it cook, stirring once in a while until it’s reduced by at least half. This should take about ten minutes or so.
Let the sauce cool then drizzle it over the salad. -drizzle don’t drown- (It’s strange how much sauce Americans use compared to the rest of the world.)
At the party, these were the first of a large selection of hors-d’oeuvres to disappear, so be sure to make more of these than you think you’ll need.
Another simple, but tasty, hors-d’oeuvre was prosciutto wrapped around spinach and a small piece of fresh basil then lightly drizzled with the same balsamic reduction as the tomato/mozzarella sticks.
(sorry about the bad photo.)
Neither of these requires anything more than the best ingredients and a little time. but they’ll make your guests think you’re a culinary genius. Well, maybe not a genius, but at least they’ll think you’re a damn good cook.