Fancy a Nibble?
While staying in Savoie in France, I discovered a genius cold hors-d’oeuvre that’s quick, cheap and easy. Here’s a colourful nibble that’s also brilliant with a wide range of wines, whether white, rosé, sparkling or sherry. What you only really need is a courgette, aka zucchini.
My example of this is vegetarian, but it’s easy enough to create a vegan or a meat version. Beyond the essential courgette, there are no restrictions on what to put on top of it. Use what’s seasonal or in the fridge.
Thin slices of raw courgette replace the more usual use of crackers or biscuits as a base. Then you add a topping combination according to taste. The courgette is crisp, fresh and mouthwatering as well as being healthy. It’s even low in calories, 100g of courgette is only 18 calories. Compare that to 100g of crackers at 462 calories. Just one courgette will be enough for several plates-worth.
So, get yourself a courgette and slice it up reasonably thinly and arrange the slices on a plate. Now add the toppings. A blob of crème fraîche is my preference to stick it all together. Or try hummus. Follow that with a thin slice of red cayenne or jalapeño pepper and a fresh basil leaf. My choice is for mild chilli so I can still taste the wine in my glass. You and your guests may like a little more heat. I’ll leave it to you how hot you go, but I’d avoid Scotch Bonnets unless you have sadistic tendencies. On a hot day stick the result in the fridge for a few minutes and serve slightly chilled.
That’s it! Five minutes is all you need. I guarantee that you won’t make enough the first time, these are incredibly more-ish.
The combinations to use on the top of your base courgette slice are endless. Substitute blue cheese for creme fraiche if you like sweeter wines, for example. Or try a range of fresh herbs; such as marjoram, mint, oregano or chives. Zucchini flowers are also a good alternative.
Foragers might like to experiment with other flowers, but please remember that some species are poisonous! Carnivores could try paté or strips of salami.
Make a few different versions and create a selection.
What’s not to love, and it doesn’t take the edge off your appetite either.