If you're invited to dinner in Paris, the odds are good that you'll be served a verrine, a lovely light appetizer (sometimes dessert) made by layering ingredients in small glasses. The verrine trend took France by storm several years ago and shows no sign of ever becoming passé—probably because the exquisitely colorful servings have an aura of elegance and sophistication, yet most can be assembled very simply. As an appetizer or buffet item, verrines offer a welcome break from canapés and dips. And because they're petite, they provide built-in portion control for dessert.
What You'll Need
â€¢Â small glasses or champagne flutes that hold no more than 1/2 cup
â€¢Â 8 small teaspoons, demitasse spoons, or small forks
Design Your Own
There's no end to the verrines you can create when you follow these three steps:
Keep it colorful The brighter the layers, the prettier the verrine. Choose vibrant-hued fruits and vegetables; then add white contrast with cheese, yogurt, or tofu, and texture with specks of seeds, chopped nuts, dried fruits, or minced herbs.
Limit layers to four Tempting as it is to pile on the flavor possibilities, the best verrines are relatively simple, with three to four distinct layers.
Think bottom to top Place thicker, heavier ingredients (grains, cheese, etc.) at the bottom of the glass, then work up, ending with the lightest, most delicate ingredients.