Fresh and Dainty Canapés: Cucumber and Avocado Rounds (oh, and they're also gluten, nut, and dairy free for all your guests!)
The weekend is approaching...having friends over for drinks? You know the usual cocktail party scenario. You're either hosting or attending a party or event, snuggling a clutch bag under your arm while juggling a champagne flute, which when full is completely impossible to hold by the stem only while trying to nibble on some finger food that actually really needs a plate to eat. Making matters worse, you're dressed to turn heads, but you have food stuck in your front teeth (no one told you all night!), because instead of just popping a morsel into your mouth and chewing, you had to bite into it once or twice to fit it into your mouth. Not neat . . . total drag . . .
That's why I just love small, lady-like canapés, and fresh beautiful ingredients are a total thrill in a sea of fried finger food. I actually love to make these little darlings too—like creating tiny sculptures. Maybe Healthibella should expand into catering? Hmmmm . . .
Anyway, I especially love if I'm at a party and the finger food is gluten free and not fried, so I don't have to suffer from unexpected bloating issues while I'm at enjoying the fiesta (that would make that bodcon dress a very poor choice), so I''m offering up ideas for all you party planners out there!
These sweet cucumber rounds are pretty and perfectly bite size, and you can easily find all of the ingredients year round. If you're planning to have friends over, you can serve them with a cheese board and maybe my endive and spicy chickpea boats. I prepared this simple, but elegant spread (pictured above) for casual evening drinks at home with friends the other weekend. I devoted most of my board to food other than cheese (just a chunk of Spanish sheep cheese Manchego), and spread out some fruit, peppers, olives, dried fruit and nuts, and gluten free buckwheat, rice, and chestnut crackers—made without added nasty ingredients. (Gluten free does not automatically mean it's a health food. Read labels carefully. My clients know what to look out for!)
I hope you like the recipe! To your health and happiness! xx, Juli
P.S. These cucumber rounds can be filled with anything: hummus, smoked whitefish salad, egg salad—you get the idea!
- 1 large cucumber, washed and dried (I prefer a cucumber with a smaller diameter because I like small “lady-like” bite size canapés)
- 1 ripe avocado, chilled in the refrigerator beforehand and cubed
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- OPTIONAL DAIRY INCLUSIVE VERSION: 2 tablespoons organic Greek yogurt
- sea salt and fleur de sel to taste
- black sesame seeds
- 2 - 3 radishes, very thinly sliced (use a mandolin if you lack the knife skills)
- sprouts or micro greens to garnish
- rucola to garnish, finely chopped
- In a mixing bowl, blend the avocado together with lime juice, yogurt if you’re adding it, and sea salt to taste. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- If the cucumber is not organic, you can peel away all or most of the skin.
- Cut the cucumber into 2 cm thick rounds. (Discard the pointed ends.)
- Carefully cut the inner seed flesh out of the center of the cucumber with a small paring knife. Or, if you have a melon baller, this little tool works brilliantly to scoop out a bit of flesh. Be careful to leave the bottom of the cucumber round intact.
- Using a teaspoon, fill the cucumber rounds with the seasoned avocado until it forms an attractive little mound.
- Sprinkle a bit of black sesame seeds over the mound.
- Season with more sea salt or fleur de sel as desired.
- Top the mound with a thin slice of radish and garnish with sprouts or micro greens and finely chopped herbs. I used fresh rucola from my garden for a added peppery taste.
- Keep chilled until ready to serve.