avocado, cucumber and red bell pepper verrines (French appetizer in a glass… and three French words to learn along with it)

Hello neighbors ! Have you ever seen, had, verrines ? These appetizers, served in small clear glasses, (and derived from the French word « verre », meaning «glass ») are very trendy in France. In a typical verrine, whether sweet or savory, there are usually different layers, different textures, and different colors. The ones I am sharing here with you were made last weekend for friends who came for supper. They were much appreciated, especially by their son who went for seconds, then thirds… I always look to the younger generation when trying to determine if a recipe is tasty 😉!

Before I get to the recipe, let me ask you this : do you remember how to say « glass » in French now ? Yes ? No ? Ah, learning a foreign language is not so easy… At the beginning of our marriage, I would pronounce the word « château » the same as « shadow » ! No wonder I found Versailles dark and gloomy at the time 😄 ! Ok, for those of you who have visited this beautiful extravaganza of King Louis XIV, you need to know that at the time it had not yet been restored (partly thanks to the generous American citizens) to its bright and beautiful grandeur ! And then my husband used to confuse the words « assiette » (plate) and « chaussette » (sock)… 🤣 Safer then to serve food in verrines!


Ingredients ( for about 8 verrines)

Note that the given quantities are approximate and should be adjusted to your personal taste.

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2 red bell peppers

– 3 small ripe avocados, or 2 big ones. My strategy is to actually buy one or two more in case of a bad surprise when I cut them open !

– 1 cucumber

between 200g (7 oz) and 250g (9 oz) dairy-free yogurt (I find soy is best, and my husband can tolerate it) OR fromage blanc type cheese if you can tolerate it

1 lemon

a little canned tuna, provided the only other ingredients are water and salt OR, for a vegetarian option, 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs

a few kalamata olives or any other type of olives, but again, if you are sulfite intolerant, read the label or ask the store to find out if they were soaked in vinegar (not recommended)

natural sea salt, untreated

freshly ground white pepper (optional)

How to: (to be prepared ahead, and kept in the refrigerator until serving time)

1. Remove stems, ribs and seeds from the peppers. Place under the broiler at 250°C / 485°F for 10 to 15 minutes, until blackened and blistered. Take peppers out of the oven, let cool down and remove the peel, which a lot of people have a hard time digesting.

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2. Puree 40 g (1.5 oz) peeled pepper with 180 g (6.5 oz) yogurt / cheese. Season with some freshly squeezed lemon and salt. You obtain a pretty pink colored cream, to be filled with the rest of the peppers, cut up into tiny chunks.

3. Puree the avocado flesh with a little yogurt, just enough to make it smoother. Again, season with salt and lemon juice to taste, adding a little freshly ground white pepper to give it a little « pazazz ». Peel and seed the cucumber, dice into tiny cubes and add to the avocado mix. This preparation should be done after the red bell pepper mixture to prevent the avocado from browning.

4. Spoon some of the green preparation at the bottom of each glass container, then some of the red preparation, covering the avocado layer entirely, thus sealing it from the air. I used about 3 tsp of each preparation for my verrines, but of course this varies depending on the size of the containers.

5. Top with some tuna flakes OR chopped hard-boiled eggs and some chopped olives.

Cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated until serving time.  Bon appétit, dear neighbors!  Pretty to look at, aren’t they?  Alas, I chipped one of my fancy glasses the very next day!

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