These Smoked Salmon Endive Boats Are the Perfect Party Bite
South Carolina blogger Anne Wolfe Postic explains why appetizers should never be more than a mouthful—or require a utensil.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love an hors d'œuvre. Do you remember how it was trendy for a while for fancy restaurants to send out an hors d'œuvre for free? It would be presented with much pomp and circumstance, and a speech. "The CHEF would like to offer you a gift this evening, this AMUSE-BOUCHE! What we have here for you to enjoy is radish bark with house-made dill crème fraîche and a light sprinkle of heirloom lime dust! ENJOY!" As pretentious as some of those little bites can be, they're often delightful, and I'd rather have a whole plate of mouth amusers than one big dish. If that little bite is so entertaining to the mouth, then why can't we have more? But I digress.
Once my children are all launched out into the world, I'm pretty sure I'll eat all my meals in the living room, serving myself from a cocktail tray full of snacks, actual cocktail optional. Because I love bite-sized food so much, I watch the passed appetizer trays at parties like a hawk, making sure I don't miss a single one, because I'm always looking for new ideas.
I prefer appetizers that don't require a vehicle. Remember that other trend? There would be a passed tray of appetizers, each one served on an individual porcelain or silver spoon. You would take one, eat it as quickly as possible, and realize the waiter had disappeared. You were stuck with a spoon that couldn't be tossed in the garbage, and it was super awkward. This is why all party food should be no more than a mouthful, and should not come with a utensil.
WATCH: Three Party-Ready Appetizer Ideas
These endive boats are the perfect appetizer because the boat is the utensil…and it's edible! I got the idea more than ten years ago at a party at the Market Pavilion Hotel in Charleston, where I ate no less than 20 of them. When I made them at home, my tiny grandmother, who normally ate like a bird, ate more than I could count. When they were gone, she expressed great disappointment. My grandmother was far too gracious to ever express disappointment, especially at a party hosted by one of her grandchildren. But she liked the endive appetizers that much, and so do I.
Anne Wolfe Postic is a freelance writer living in South Carolina with her husband, their three sons, and a fluffy white dog. She travels with relish (and often a jar of Duke's mayonnaise). She cooks her feelings and invites people over to eat them. Anne writes and blogs about parenting, etiquette, healthy eating, home cooking, and traveling. She recommends taking all of her advice with a huge chunk of salt.