For the Civilized Tradition of Cocktail Entertaining
Nibbles Inspired by The Late Great James Beard
well washed down with the drink of your choosing
flavored with good will and love and understanding
Simple and Sublime. Tomato and Onion. Plus my favorite cocktail, and yours. He wrote the first major cookbook devoted exclusively to cocktail food and drink in 1940! His entertaining advice is pithy, precious, and ultimately timeless. These bites are not meant to satiate, but to leave one hungry, hungry for what comes next…
“The food, no matter how simple, should show some degree of imagination,” wrote James Beard, Dean of American Cookery.
Mini Sweet Onion Sandwiches with Mayo and Fresh Herbs
Mini Heirloom Tomatoes Dipped in Absinthe and Kosher Salt
When James Beard died at 81 on January 21, 1985, he left a legacy of culinary excellence and integrity to generations of home cooks and professional chefs. His name remains synonymous with American food. – from James Beard Foundation
Mini Sweet Onion Sandwiches with Mayo and Fresh Herbs Recipe
- white or whole wheat bread
- sweet onion, very thinly sliced, using a mandoline
- chopped herbs such as parsley, cilantro, tarragon
- salt and pepper
Slice bread into small rounds with a cookie cutter. Spread one side of each round with mayonnaise. Make a sandwich by placing a few slices of onion between the rounds. Season with salt and pepper. Spread mayonnaise along one-third of the edge of the sandwich and roll in chopped herbs.
Mini Heirloom Tomatoes Dipped in Absinthe and Kosher Salt Recipe
- mini heirloom tomatoes
- kosher salt
While Mr. Beard was not particularly fond of vegetable crudités, he did advocate giving a fresh sweet cherry tomato a dunk in vodka, and a dip in salt, then a pop into the mouth – for an adult flavor burst.
To add drama to the cocktail party, my version substitutes the mysterious absinthe for vodka. Its image invokes danger and risk. Its production was illegal since the beginning of the twentieth century because it contained a specific type of wormwood, Artemisia absinthium. Wormwood contains small amounts of thujone, a compound once thought to affect the mind. Now it is believed that absinthe’s ill-health and hallucinatory characteristics were caused by alcohol poisoning due to its high alcohol content.
After almost a century, real absinthe is legally available in the US. Absinthe’s flavors of herbs, botanicals, fennel and anise are extraordinary, the elixir makes a bold and unique pairing with tomatoes and salt…
“Hors d’oeuvre means ‘outside the meal’ and regardless of how many different sorts may be provided ‘outside’ or before any one meal, there is but one meal or oeuvre, so that, in French, oeuvre remains in the singular and hors d’oeuvre is never written hors d’oeuvres.”
-Andre Simon’s French Cook Book
Summer Soiree is a season long franchise where Food Network editors team up with bloggers to share recipes about everyone’s favorite summer dishes. Be sure to check out the Pinterest Board with over 200,000 followers called Let’s Pull Up A Chair!
And if Cocktail Nibbles Inspired by The Late Great James Beard got you in the mood for more hors d’oeuvre – you might enjoy taking a peek at other delicious dips from some fabulous bloggers below…
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5 thoughts on “Cocktail Nibbles Inspired by The Late Great James Beard”
Now we are talking. I guess it’s the Spanish in me….love those little bites. Your work is always eye candy.
James Beard truly was a food genius. Love the beautiful simplicity of these nibbles.
What lovely nibbles. James Beard was a genius. Cheers!