In France, when you have friends around, you always serve drinks and nibbles before dinner, or even lunch. This is called apéritif or in short “apéro”. If you have French friends you will have noticed that there is an art to apéro. The master of the house is usually in charge of the drinks and needs to cater for everyone’s need: mocktails for pregnant women, white for Aussie sheilas (nah I’m joking) and beer for me. It has to be seasonal: rosé, Pinot gris or IPA for summer, Shiraz, solid Burgundy or stout in winter.
The lady of the house is in charge of nibbles. My favourite way to do it is to throw 2 or 3 homemade frozen baguettes in a 180°C preheated oven, crust sprinkled with water first. Then I make a dip or a spread. One of the best success/easiness rate ever is my quark spread.
To make it even nicer and fresher I go forage in my currently jungly garden and choose chives, lemon thyme and all sorts of herbs.
I open a jar of my own pickled jalapeno to give the whole thing a serious kick.
There is nothing like a Friday night on the balcony, chatting away in the evening sun.
- 300 g fresh quark
- freshly cracked salt and pepper
- chives, chopped finely
- all sorts of fresh herbs according to your taste (keep some to decorate)
- baguette, fresh or toasted or re-heated in the oven sprinkled with water, sliced
- pickled jalapenos in slices (optional)
- Mix everything except pickled jalapenos and baguette, make a smooth paste using a fork.
- If too stiff add a bit of milk. Correct seasoning if needed.
- Spread on sliced baguette. Add 2 slices of pickled jalapenos. Decorate with herbs.