Elegant Hors d'Oeuvres

Martha Stewart Weddings, 2004

The food you offer to your guests during the cocktail hour sets the tone for the rest of the reception. So it's worth taking care in selecting it, paying attention to both the presentation and taste. The little bites shown here are exquisite, but not pretentious. The light ingredients may seem lavish, but all are balanced by something familiar: In a canape, that's a small piece of bread.

A deviled quail egg dressed with caviar and dill sits atop a piece of pumpernickel. Below: More canapes feature something sweet, such as figs, or savory -- roasted wild mushrooms, for example, or spicy shrimp -- on a bed of delicious bread in round, square, even flower shapes. Other hors d'oeuvres offer familiar tastes in unexpected forms, as in the towering napoleon made with crispy wontons and ricotta cheese, or stuffed phyllo sacks, tied with chives and topped with caviar.

Top row, from left:
Gorgonzola Dolce with Figs and Port
Wonton Napoleons
Cucumber with Roe and Chives

Middle row:
Pan Tomate
Roasted wild Mushrooms with Robiola and Truffle Oil
Potatoes with Creme Fraiche and Bacon

Bottom row:
Phyllo Purses
Sesame Flowers
Spicy Shrimp and Avocado

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