Buffets are ideal for serving large parties and are a popular fixture at business lunches, family reunions and dinner parties. Buffets are also widely treated as informal affairs and the food itself is often somewhat bland because the emphasis is on quantity over quality. This doesn't have to be the case; there are a variety of buffet ideas that are both cost-effective and memorable.
Warm Dates with Goat Cheese and Jamon Serrano
This tangy finger food is a variation of the deli luncheon meat buffet staple. Spanish jamon serrano is comparable to prosciutto and it adds saltiness to the warm, pitted dates that are rolled up inside the thin-sliced meat. Pack the inside of each date with 1 tsp of goat cheese and wrap the stuffed date with a basil leaf and a slice of jamon serrano. Use a toothpick to hold the wraps together. This dish is best served warm, so wait until shortly before the luncheon to broil the jamon serrano.
Mini Sandwich Buffet
Mini sandwiches are a buffet crowd pleaser that provide you with an opportunity to mix favourites (patty melts and grilled cheese) with slightly more adventurous fare like a pesto provolone mini sandwich. For tea time luncheons, cucumber sandwiches are ideal, and preparing them with spicy mustard, chopped scallion and salt and pepper can add extra flavour to this traditional favourite.
Roasted Red Peppers and Cauliflowers with Caper Vinaigrette
This dish is an ideal heart-healthy buffet item if you are hosting 15 people or less. The roasted red pepper dish is ideal for events where you have extra prep time because it is best served when you roast the peppers and cauliflowers a day in advance and toss with vinaigrette before chilling overnight. Drain and rinse the capers before chopping them, and then whisk the chopped capers into the vinaigrette. This dish is best served at room temperature.
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