The arrival of the fall social season means a full calendar of special events: nights at the symphony, gallery openings, fund-raising galas, and evenings at the theater. Frequently, it also means bringing people together over cocktails. The savory appetizers featured here are the perfect accompaniment. Like the classic “little black dress,” they can be dressed up or dressed down. You can lay them all out for a cocktail buffet, choose one as a first course for a sit-down dinner, or pare down the presentation for a quick nibble at the party before the party. Several can be made ahead, ready to serve at a moment’s notice.

Let the social season begin.

Miniature Goat Cheese & Herb Cheesecakes

Marinated Shrimp with Peppers and Onions

Feta, Olive and Walnut Spread

Curried Lamb with Pita Wedges

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Smoked Salmon Puree

Brie Torte with Brandied Dried Fruits

Kendi O’Neill is a freelance food writer based in Frederick. She is the author of two cookbooks, “In the Kitchen with Kendi,” Volumes I and II.


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