No matter what time of the year you're throwing a party, making an hors d'oeuvre for a crowd can be daunting. You want something with a bit of heft, that has flavor that's not overpowering and can please a range of picky palates. At the same time, you want to make something that can be eaten in one or two bites. With all of that considered, an appetizer can be a tall order.
My favorite hors d'oeuvres tend to be ones that allow you to interact a bit with the food, letting guests create a little bite for themselves. Growing up, my parents always put out a platter of cheese, bread, radishes and herbs, so guests could make a little sandwich. For this particular dish, I wanted to do something similar but decided to bring some meat (balls, that is) into play.
You can use any ground meat you like with this recipe, but lamb does wonders when paired with cumin and coriander. You can roll the meatballs ahead of time and bake them just when guests arrive, which means there's no time wasted at the stove frying. When they're finished, serve them with warm pita (or any kind of flatbread), and a simple mint pesto that's sweetened slightly with raisins.
To learn more, read "Before Midnight."
Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Green Raisin PestoRecipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 30 meatballs
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes