Fall is our favorite time to gather friends at home for good food, drinks and company. Instead of a multi-course, sit-down dinner, host a casual get-together with cocktails and simple appetizers, and let people pass and share. Here’s a menu of libations and nibbles that makes it easy (and fun!) to entertain this season.
For snacks, serve bruschetta with mushrooms and goat cheese, which make great finger food and still look elegant. For something hearty, we love these chicken meatballs with ginger and lemongrass, beautiful placed in little lettuce cups. Make the most of summer’s last tomatoes on a flatbread with thyme and feta — you can cut it into squares for serving.
- 1 to 2 days ahead: Roast the tomatoes for the flatbread; cool and refrigerate. Form the meatballs and refrigerate.
- Day of: Make the flatbread dough. Toast the bread for the bruschetta. Make the cauliflower, stopping before you add the breadcrumbs, and refrigerate.
- Just before serving: Bake the flatbread. Saute the mushrooms and finish the bruschetta. Fry the meatballs. Finish the cauliflower with the breadcrumbs and make the popcorn. Mix the cocktails and toast your friends!
Get creative with serving ideas. Try rustic boards for the bruschetta and flatbread, and a big white platter (and toothpicks!) for the meatballs. If you like, place parchment cones in tumbler glasses to serve the popcorn. Set out a stack of appetizer plates and cocktail napkins on a buffet or table with the food so people can help themselves.
You don’t need dessert for a cocktail party, but here’s a way to cover your bases just in case. Make a cheese plate with seasonal fruits like figs, grapes and pomegranates, plus toasted nuts and your favorite dried fruits. It’s a sweet-savory bite that completes any party. Find our tips for building the ultimate cheese plate here!