Special Appetizers

When you're hosting a party that's more than a casual get-together, set the tone by serving fancy starters.
14 Special Appetizers
artichokes
Artichoke and Goat Cheese Bundles

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Bundles Keep these elegant appetizers on hand in the freezer for unexpected guests.

 

Apples with Pistachio-Almond Butter You can make this elegant nut butter ahead, cover, and chill it overnight. It will be too firm to spread then, so let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

 

Artichoke Triangles All wrapped up and ready to go, here's an elegant and easy appetizer that can be baked up straight from the freezer. Layers of phyllo pastry and seasoned bread crumbs guarantee extra crispness.

 

Baked Ricotta with Sage This wonderful blend of ricotta cheese and fresh sage is topped with fried fresh sage for this elegant appetizer.

 

Dried-Tomato-Stuffed Mushrooms A savory blend of spinach, fresh basil, dried tomatoes, and four cheeses fill these baked mushrooms that make an elegant first course.

 

Garlic, Brie, and Pesto Mini-Pizzas When you have unexpected guests, prepare these elegant five-ingredient Brie- and pesto-topped appetizer pizzas.

 

Jamacian Shrimp Jamaican cooks usually use Scotch bonnet peppers instead of jalapeño peppers in their spicy dishes. These can be substituted in this recipe, if available, but keep in mind that they are very hot.

 

Marinated Shrimp and Artichokes These appetizer kabobs make a colorful addition to any appetizer buffet. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp or they will be tough.

 

Pork Tenderloin Perfection Try this elegant appetizer -- it's made from marinated lean pork tenderloin that's roasted or grilled and rolled in sesame seeds.

 

Provencal Tarts For a fast, fancy edge, use a fluted pastry wheel to cut the puff pastry for these elegant cheese first-course appetizers.

 

Shrimp and Bacon Napoleons Anything served in a puff pastry has an unmistakable elegance about it; these easy mini shrimp and carrot sandwiches are no exception.

 

Smoked Salmon Ribbon Sandwiches These elegant sandwiches are perfect with cocktails or as part of an elegant tea service.

 

Spinach-Filled Red Pepper Pastry Swirls Be sure to drain the spinach well for these elegant appetizers. Too much liquid will make the filling too soft to hold its shape during baking.

 

Zucchini Ribbons Sally Darr, chef and owner of the former La Tulipe restaurant in New York City, transforms ordinary zucchini into an elegant first course.