Dinner tomorrow night at a friends and I promised to bring the appetizer. I am stuck for ideas and the entree is salad nicoise. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance.
This is easy, fast, and somewhat French:
How about a beautiful platter of early summer vegetables with aioli for dipping? I'm thinking breakfast radishes, pretty little carrots, new potatoes (blanched), green beans, etc ... check out our recent contest, Your Best Recipe with Aioli for ideas!
A pissaladière would be great, as would socca or panisse served with a hummus-style fava bean dip and/or olive tapenade.
I feel like I come back to them a lot as one of my favorite appetizers, but how about gougeres? They're lovely and French, and will be a nice offset to the main course so everything won't be veggie-centric (though there's nothing wrong with that!)
How about the borscht soup discussed here recently.
Burnt Offerings posted a beautiful aspic here:
crostini or bruschetta of some type, maybe? some ideas for toppings: fresh ricotta, fresh favas or peas, grilled or roasted spring onions or garlic butter, pâté or mousse, goat cheese and beets. there are so many great things to choose from right now!
I have often served soup - what about a Vichyssoise?
I'd go against an one that repeats the ingredients, style and flavors in the salad.
I'm with latoscana here..a soup. Tho the potato might be too much a repeat of flavors. A chilled soup for the summer.
Humm...how about a chilled cucumber soup with dill?
How about a fennel and zucchini soup with just a half-teaspoon of creme fraiche and a small shave of Grana Padano?
@Sam1148 - yes, i see your point about all the potato flavor. I have made French onion soup to serve before a salade nicoise and it's so great and classic - but it's too hot in summer for a hot soup and especially one that heats up the kitchen so much.
I love these. They should be good for appetizer. Maybe a bit compliated to deploy as a 'bring an appetizer' thing. But damn they are Sooooo. good. You can make ahead and fry before serving.
From Steamy Kitchen. "Firecracker Shrimp".
i'm thinking fruity. how about fig & blue cheese savories or ricotta thumbprints-both here at food52. or another vehicle for a fruity chutney.
I'm thinking soup too, a hot one since you have a cold entree, and thinking that you can go a tiny richer with the starter. Michael Chirallo has a terrific roasted tomato soup (made with canned tomatoes out of season), and I'd do the optional touch of cream, and, to gild the lily with a parmesan cheese crouton. You would only need to serve a small bowl. Now let's see if I can find a link:
Not yet but here's another:
Aha! Here you go this is awesome with a grilled cheese sandwich. I didn't used to like tomato soup until I made this.
chiarello tomato soup roasted
oops. forrgot the link:
This is awesome, You could tweak it if you roasted fresh tomato first.
If you want a cold soup, which is also good hot, I love this if it is made with chicken stock. From Debora Madison's Farmer's Market. Note to self, buy this book. It has Zucchili, Poblano problano peppers, cilantro and other herbs. It is insanely good, but I didn't find a link. I'm sure it is out there.
You all are wonderful! I have ideas to take to several other meals, as well as tonight. Thank you!
One of the best pairings with a salad nicoise I've ever had was a fresh pea soup, warm but not super hot, with a cake of toasted basmati rice as an island in the center. Delicious and full of spring and summer.
I'm another big fan of Gougeres. You can vary them by adding a favorite fresh herb. Pate a Choux is so easy.