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Nibbles (scroll down for recipes)

Vegetable purees or mousses are great for an apero and very versatile. Depending on the texture, you can use them as dips with crudities, spreads on crackers or toasted sourdough or even fill little pastry cases with them and sprinkle with fresh herbs for something more glamourous.

 

Hummus and guacamole are classics, but beetroot and red pepper make colourful alternatives (that also go really well with red wine). You can make a humous with green fava or broad beans for a change in colour and use it to fill small tacos and sprinkle with chopped tomatoes,spring onions and fresh herbs with a little sour cream for non-vegans. Serve all the components separately and everyone can make their own version–messy but fun.

 

Vegetable pizzas or the French onion pissaladière served warm make great and more filling nibbles, the sweetness of slow cooked onions goes so well with the acidity of a sparkling wine.

 

Mini cold soups can work really well, whiz up a green gazpacho with fresh herbs, spring onions, olive oil, garlic, some avocado for creaminess (or Greek yoghurt for non-vegans) and sherry or rice vinegar to get the consistency you want. Sprinkle with elderflowers or freeze them into small ice cubes and float one on top to keep cool on a hot day.

For more nibbles recipe ideas, see our Winter section too such as the cauliflower dip

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Beetroot Hummus Recipe

  • 1 can chickpeas (430 g/15 oz), drained and rinsed

  • 2 medium cooked beetroots, you can coil or roast with skins on or buy ready cooked not pickled  ( as it can be messy)

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • zest and juice from 1 medium lemon

  • 2-3 tablespoons tahini

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

Method

  • Whizz beetroots, chickpeas and garlic in a food processor for about 1 minute then add all the remaining ingredients and process until creamy.

  • Adjust consistency by adding more olives oil tahini or water.

  • Check for seasoning adding more  salt, cumin, olive oil, or lemon juice if needed.

  • Can serve immediately or keep covered in the fridge for 4-5 days.

See our classic 'best ever' hummus recipe too. 

Recipe for Pissadliere

French pissaladière or onion tarte from South of France, sprinkled with fresh rosemary and thyme or olives for that Provencal flavour.

Ready-made shortcrust pastry or make your own:

  • 800 g onions

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 5 sprigs of thyme

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • a few olives

  • pinch of salt

  • olive oil

Method

  • Finely chop onions and garlic.

  • Sweat them gently in the olive oil with the bay leaves and thyme.

  • Add the pinch of salt.

  • Cover and leave to caramelise at a very low heat. Keep an eye on them so they don’t catch they should become like ‘onion jam’

  • Place the pastry on an oiled and floured baking tray.

  • Remove the bay leaves and sprigs of thyme from the onions mixture and spread it over the pastry.

  • Cook for 30- 40 min at  210°C.

  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with olives or fresh herbs, try and find some garlic flowers in the spring.

  • Best served warm – can easily prepare in advance and reheat.

Pairing

The sparkling Sémillon la Marquise has a fresh and bright acidity, reinforced by the bubbles which is a great match for any vegetable based dish. It has enough depth and weight to go with stronger and earthy flavours like beetroot. It works with some spice too so don’t hesitate to add a little chilli to your guacamole in those tacos.

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