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TIP OF THE DAY: Add Refreshment, Deduct Carbs With Cucumber Hors d’Oeuvres

When pulling together hors d’oeuvres for cocktails, it’s easy to reach for baguette slices or crackers and pile on a topping.

But here’s an alternative that doesn’t get soggy, has better nutrition and fewer carbs: the cucumber. You can place sliced meat and cheese, a shrimp with dill sauce, or other favorite directly atop a slice of cucumber instead of the bread or cracker. You can even make bite-size “cucumber sandwiches” using two slices of cucumber and a filling.

Or, you can “stuff” the cucumber for a more impressive presentation:


1. Peel and cut cucumbers into half-inch circles and carefully scoop out a well with a melon baller or other device.

2. Optionally, you can use a small cookie cutter to make scalloped/floral shapes, as in the photo (do this before you scoop out the well).

3. Then, fill the well with anything you like. Some of our favorites:


Cucumbers stuffed with salsa. Photo courtesy Elegant Affairs Caterers | New York.

  • Caviar: Use any affordable caviar, but especially flavored capelin or whitefish caviar (ginger, truffle, saffron, wasabi, etc.). See the different types of caviar.
  • Cheese: Try blue cheese spread topped with a toasted pecan or walnut (recipe below), or flavored goat cheese (mix in dill or chopped olives), topped with a strip or square of smoked salmon.
  • Salad: Crab, egg, tuna or shrimp salad becomes special with a touch of curry or other exotic seasoning.
  • Salsa: Look for chipotle, corn and bean or other stand-out salsa flavor.

    The better quality the blue cheese and cream cheese, the better this tastes. We use organic cream cheese (less gumminess, more flavor) and Gorgonzola or Roquefort (check out our favorite blue cheeses).


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
  • Base: cucumber slices, crackers or toasted baguette
  • Garnish: sliced figs, toasted pecans or walnuts

    1. COMBINE: In a medium bowl, mash softened cream cheese until softened. Mash in blue cheese.

    2. TASTE: Blue cheese is typically salty, but adjust with salt and pepper if needed. You can make this up to a week in advance. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

    3. ASSEMBLE. Top cucumber slices with cheese spread. Since this is a thick mixture, you don’t need to create wells; but you can certainly do so if you like the aesthetic.

    4. GARNISH: Top with a thin slice of fig and/or a toasted nut.

    Find more of our favorite hors d’oeuvre recipes.


    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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