We’d rather whip up something that looks fancy and tastes amazing, but only takes minutes to prepare. Trust our simple formula: Take familiar ingredients—olives, cheese, bread—and dress them up with high-quality spices, seasonings, and oils. You’ll be amazed at what you can come up with. Add some pretty bowls, like these dainty ones by Core Bamboo, and you’ll never shy away from hosting a party again.
Popcorn isn’t just for movie dates. This savory version is grown-up and worthy of even the most swish cocktail hour.
Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan. Add popcorn kernels and cover the pan. Gently move the saucepan over the burner to keep the popcorn from burning. Pour the finished popcorn into a large bowl and toss with plenty of truffle salt.
There’s nothing wrong with a bowl of cocktail peanuts, but they won’t win you any gourmet points. Try these addictively sweet-salty ones instead. Toast a mixture of walnuts, pecans, and almonds at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Remove and toss immediately with melted butter, chopped rosemary, brown sugar, and coarse salt. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.
Pintxos, tartines, bruschette—no matter what you call them, the idea is the same: delicious ingredients on top of great bread. This simple combination is elegant and beautiful.
Cut a crusty baguette into thick slices. Toast lightly and spread with good unsalted butter, sliced French radishes, and a generous sprinkling of fleur de sel (or truffle salt!).
Herbs and citrus add brightness to store-bought olives. Serve them in small bowls with good bread for dipping in the excess oil. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add a mix of olives to the pan and warm them wearing over low heat. Remove and mix with rosemary, thyme, and lemon zest.
Instead of dip, create your own aromatic goat cheese. For this recipe, feel free to use your standard, go-to goat cheese—no need to splurge on spendy artisanal varieties.
Mix softened goat cheese with chopped herbs (we like parsley, thyme, and rosemary). Serve with crackers, endive, or crudités.
—By Mollie Chen
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