French Appetizers & Snacks
These light, chilled verrines are a great appetizer to serve before a hearty meal because they won't fill you up. Red quinoa makes the presentation extra eye-catching, but you can also use regular quinoa or steamed couscous or bulgur.
Duxelles (pronounced dook-SEHL) is a paste of finely chopped mushrooms and shallots used to flavor classic French dishes. A food processor makes quick work of the chopping. The mixture is extremely versatile—try it spread on toast as an appetizer. This recipe is also a good way to use tough stems from shiitake and portobello mushrooms.
Parisian bistros serve chèvre chaud salads—mixed greens tossed with a tangy vinaigrette, then topped with baguette slices and thick slices of toasted soft goat cheese. Here we take a twist on that classic dish by broiling goat cheese on a pear half for an elegant appetizer or a light cheese course. Serve with slices of French bread and a salad, if desired.
This savory entreacute;e, inspired by rustic French freeform tarts, also serves nicely as an appetizer for as many as 10. The wholesome plant-oil crust tastes great, and the pastry is easy to work with. If it tears when you’re handling it, it’s a cinch to pinch it back together. Try it with a green bean and feta cheese salad.