The appetizer (a typical kind of starter involving a mix of different elements) is a classic at Christmas and at other festive celebrations in Spain, in the same way that a toast with cava is at dessert time. Here at the D.O. Cava we recommend an appetizer with a distinctive twist: an apppetizer specially designed to be paired with a Cava Gran Reserva (aged for over 30 months). There are so many ways to enjoy Cava, without needing to wait until the dessert arrives at the end of the meal.
We’ve created this appetizer keeping the molecular study of the aromatic harmonies of Cava by François Chartier firmly in mind. So, here we have for you: a hummus, a cheeseboard, a charcuterie board, olives (stone in), vegetable crisps, fresh fruit, dried fruit and nuts, and also some crispy snack breads. We’ll explain how to make the hummus and set up the cheese and charcuterie boards, plus giving you some suggestions on how to present it all at the table.
This way of arranging things plays with the colours of the different elements and combines the charcuterie meats with the crispy breads and grapes. You can always choose a different arrangement of course, just make sure that the ingredients are clearly separated and can be easily identified.
And don’t forget the finishing touches
1) Put the olives in a bowl and set aside.
2) Put the vegetable crisps in another bowl and set these aside too.
Once you’ve prepared the hummus with the carrot crudités, the cheeseboard, the charcuterie board, and the bowls of olives and vegetable crisps, everything is ready for the table. At this point, just before sitting down to eat, be sure to serve your guests a glass of Cava Gran Reserva (aged for over 30 months). With the aperitivo on the table and the cava in the glasses, you’re ready to embark on a culinary experience to delight the palate. As you can see, cava is also an excellent way to begin your festive meals this year, there’s no need to wait until dessert. In fact another innovative suggestion from the Consejo Regulador del Cava is to continue with cava throughout the meal.
If you prefer, you can always serve the aperitivo on individual plates rather than in the centre of the table. This will avoid the need for everybody to take their food from the same platter, which may be a good idea given the current pandemic situation, and the need to introduce safety measures at the individual level wherever possible.