What to Serve for Apero Hour

Nutmeg can hardly believe that she is actually going to put this in writing; she is almost ready for the summer silly season to be over. Totally out of character, right? For anyone who knows Nutmeg, there is no doubt that summer is her favourite season.

Summer, in a Provencal village, translates into plenty of socializing. The town fills with owners who have their holiday homes in the area, and throngs of tourists enjoying the scenery. The cafés are filled at all hours of the day with clients enjoying a morning coffee, a light lunch, or a tempting beverage and bar snack in the early evening. That is exactly the problem. Apero Hour!

glasses Nutmeg thinks that the word apero sounds more sophisticated and than cocktail, although technically both result in the same enjoyable activity. As the neighbours from Paris and other parts of the world, descended on Eygalières for the summer season, the apero hour evolved to become slightly more refined. Olives and tasty spreads replaced the peanuts and pretzels, and there was copious refreshing rosé served along side the snacks.

Ginger and Nutmeg loved it.

What could be more enjoyable than sharing an evening cocktail with friends and neighbours? Not much, it was a perfect opportunity to sample and share some new recipes for tapas style dining. Enjoy the following three recipes, as Ginger is now an expert with a food processor.

OlivesSun-dried-tomato-tapanade

Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 Cups
 
This recipe is very easy. The only part that takes some time is pitting the olives. You may need to add a bit more oil, depending on the amount of oil in the olives and sun dried tomatoes. Serve with a chilled glass of rose or white and plenty of bread or crostini.

Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Sun-dried Tomatoes, if in oil drain first
  • 1 Cup Pitted Green Olives
  • 1 Whole Lemon, for zest and juice
  • ½ Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons Capers, drained if in vinegar, rinsed if in salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, Chopped
  • ½ Cup Pecorino Cheese, grated
  • ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper, ground
Instructions
  1. Pit the green olives, with an olivepitter
  2. Wash and zest the lemon
  3. Squeeze the lemon for the juice and remove any seeds
  4. Place all the ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth

 
Crème de Sardine
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 Cups
 
Ginger and Nutmeg first tried a version of this recipe at La Petite Maison de Cucuron. It has been slightly adapted but the credit goes to Eric Sapet, for introducing the idea of mixing these ingredients together. This recipe is great for summer cocktail hour, or unexpected guests at anytime. The ingredients can easily be stocked in a pantry for those emergencies. Play with the spicing to suit your tastes. Serve on crostini or with endive leaves.

Ingredients
  • 4 Cans Sardines, packed in oil without bones
  • 1 Package (16 triangles) La Vache Qui Rit Cheese, or light cream cheese
  • 1 Whole Lemon, for zest and juice
  • 10 Whole Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Drain the oil from the sardines
  2. Place in a food processor
  3. Remove the wrappers from 12 triangles of cheese
  4. Add to the sardines
  5. Wash the lemon and zest the peel using a grater or zester, add to the rest of the ingredients
  6. Squeeze half the lemon, remove any seeds and add
  7. Add in the sun-dried tomatoes and blend all the ingredients until well mixed.
  8. Taste the blended mixture and add salt, pepper and additional lemon juice to suit your taste.

black-olive-tapenade
Black Olive Tapenade
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 Cups
 
This recipe is the easiest of all three. If you can only find anchovies and capers packed in salt, make sure to rinse before using. You may need to add a bit of olive oil if the mixture is too thick.

Ingredients
  • 30 Whole Black olives, preferably ones prepared with herbs de Provence
  • 2 Filets Anchovies, packed in oil (drained)
  • 2 Tablespoons Capers, packed in vinegar (drained)
Instructions
  1. Remove the pits from the black olives
  2. Place the olives, capers and anchovies in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth
  3. Serve with crostini

 

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