French Food | Recipes

The French Apéritif: Recipes & More!

March 7, 2016
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Appetizers in France aren’t exactly your plate of spinach & artichoke dip or chicken wings.  Appetizers translates more or less to Apéritif which describes a whole other phenomena of pre-meal eating.

Apéritif in France actually refers to an alcoholic drink that you serve before a meal.  But the word itself translates more to the convivial moment before sitting down with family or friends at the table, where you dine on simple (or delicate) snacks coupled with a small glass of alcohol of some sort, but that’s not required.  You can have juice or syrup water, too!  I always preferred drinking a glass of “Verveine” (Lemon Verbena!)

Find out all the ins and outs of how to eat the French apéritif and learn how to make some of these delicious treats yourself! You’re sure to impress at the next occasion. 😉 

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A simple summertime apéritif: Cherry tomatoes, canteloup, Laughing Cow cheese

Apéritif, apéro, amuses bouches/gueules..

Aperitif has several nicknames as you can see above.  The most common being simply “apéro”.  When it’s time for apéro, there will always be some kind of snacks and different drinks.  French families all have different choices of what they serve for apéro, so no two apero’s will be the same, though they’re probably quite similar.

The snacks served during this time will also vary depending on the occasion.

Is it a regular, sunny day? Then you might get served light fruit or vegetables like in my picture above.

Is it Christmas, someone’s birthday or another holiday?  Then you can expect more “fine” snacks that take more time to prepare but are delicious and liven up your taste buds nonetheless.

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Shrimp, avocado, grapefruit and yogurt verrine with rocket salad leaves and lemon

This above delicacy was made by Paul’s amazing mom for “la fête des mères” or Mother’s Day in France.

She’s so amazing that she even gave me her secret recipe that she’s allowing me to share with you guys. 😉

Recipe for shrimp, avocado, grapefruit and yogurt verrine

This recipe is flexible. So if you don’t like shrimp or are allergic, you can easily replace it with smoked salmon or another type of fish.

Feeds about 4 people. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pretty grapefruit
  • 1-2 avocados
  • shrimp (2-3 per person cut into small bits)
  • rocket salad leaves (just a few)

For the sauce:

  • half a small cup of natural/plain yogurt  (~150 grams / 3-4 oz.)
  • half a lemon, squeeeeze
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • salt, pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • Peel the grapefruit, making sure to take off fine skin covering each segment. Cut into small dices. Put in a salad/mixing bowl.
  • Add the peeled and diced avocados to the bowl.
  • Add peeled/deveined and diced shrimp.
  • Add washed rocket salad leaves.
  • Mix it all up!
  • Prepare the sauce.  Mix the lemon, vinegar, and mustard together.  Add the yogurt and top of with salt and pepper. Mix again.
  • Pour the sauce over the ingredients in the salad bowl. Mix one more time.
  • Fill the verrines about half way.  Place in fridge until ready to be served.
  • Bon appétit!

You can also add some finely chopped cilantro or parsley on top.  Garnish with a nice cut lemon round and serve.

Hope you enjoy this tasty little treat as much as I did! It’s perfect for beautiful spring and summer days. Packed with goodness both for your tastebuds and for you! 🙂


 

Before I let you go so soon, I want to share another (simpler) yet delicious French apéro dish you can make in a jiffy! Boursin cheese-filled ham roll-ups! Perfect for any occasion.

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Sparkling white wine, foie gras on small toasts (front left), Boursin cheese-filled ham roll-ups (front right), and cauliflower mash verrines topped with lump-fish roe (back right)

Recipe for Boursin cheese-filled ham roll-ups

This one takes minutes and it so good!

Ingredients:

  • Boursin Garlic & Herbs cheese
  • A few big round slices of deli ham

Preparation:

  • Spread thin (or generous nom nom) layer of Boursin cheese over the round ham slice
  • Cut ham into long, 1 – 1 1/2 inch wide strips
  • Roll up each strip, and secure with toothpick

It’s THAT easy. And delicious. You’ll see.  You’re welcome. 😉


Alright everyone, hope you enjoyed learning about the French apéro and making these amazing recipes!  While there is plenty more to discover about this culinary and convivial French moment, I hope you discovered something new and tasty with this post!

Have you ever had a French apéro experience? What did you eat? Share your experiences below! 

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to check out Paul’s mom’s authentic French crêpe recipe!

As always,

<3 Brittany

 

 

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