Photo: Courtesy of Giada's Digital Weekly.
Make it ahead: If a recipe says something has to be done last-minute, skip it. You’re having people over to see them, not to disappear into the kitchen every 10 minutes! Also, when you prepare everything in advance, there are no surprises; you know everything turned out just like you wanted it to and have time to fix any missteps.6.
Have something for everyone: Choose a menu that satisfies as many people as possible. I like to make these cucumber cups filled with roasted-red-pepper hummus because they’re pretty but also vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
1 (15-oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup diced jarred roasted red bell peppers
1 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 large garlic clove, peeled
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp kosher salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
2 hothouse cucumbers, ends trimmed
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, or mint leaves, for serving (optional)
In a food processor, combine the beans, roasted peppers, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper, if using.
Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl, if needed. Transfer the hummus to a small bowl.
Run the tines of a fork down the length of each cucumber several times, turning to make ridges about one-eighth-inch deep in the skin all the way around. Cut the cucumbers crosswise into one-inch rounds, for a total of at least 12.
Using the smaller end of a melon baller or a small, round measuring spoon, scoop out part of the center of each cucumber round to form a hollow. Use a small spoon (or a pastry bag fitted with a star tip) to fill each cup with hummus, mounding it slightly over the top. Tuck a small, fresh parsley leaf into the side of the filling as a garnish, if desired.
Arrange the cups on a platter, and serve.Recipe courtesy of Giada's Digital Weekly