It’s Friday and for me that means aperitivo time! In Italy, the aperitivo is the ritual of going out for some pre-dinner drinks and snacks. After work, you meet up at a little bar with some friends to relax. The bars in Italy serve some little snacks in small bowls or on small plates, and there are a variety of aperitivo cocktails offered during this time, which is typically 7-9 PM.
During quarantine, I’ve adopted the aperitivo idea at my house, especially for Friday at the end of the work day. It’s a nice break and a fun way to start the weekend.
I like setting out these colorful small Italian ceramic bowls for my aperitivo snacks. In Italy, they use small bowls at bars offering aperitivo nibbles as well, and these bowls are the perfect size!
Aperitivo snacks are easy. One snack that I see often in Italy during the aperitivo hours is potato chips! I've noticed more of the classic style chip being offered versus the ones with ridges. I always like to serve these.
Olives are always good.
Here are some large caperberries which I just picked up at the grocery store, as well as these red peppadew peppers.
Nuts are very good too. I like making this sweet and savory nut mix which is sweet from maple syrup and savory from rosemary. The recipe is below. They are very easy to make.
As far as the drinks go, every once in awhile I do like a good aperitivo cocktail. My daughter just gave me this fun little book called SPRITZ. It’s full of iconic aperitivo cocktail recipes and other snack ideas.
Sweet and Savory Mixed Nut Recipe
8 cups raw nuts, whatever combination you like
8 sprigs rosemary, remove the rosemary from the woody stalk and finely mince
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pinch cayenne (optional)
Preheat The Oven to 350° F. Use the middle oven rack.
Put the nuts, minced rosemary, salt and cayenne in a large mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup and mix thoroughly, making sure the nuts are coated evenly. I use a spatula to make sure all of the syrup from the bottom of the bowl is well incorporated.
Next line a 13" X 18” banking pan with parchment paper. I tear off a piece of parchment paper slightly larger that the pan and then scrunch up the paper and unwrap it so it lays down nicely in the pan. Pour the nut mixture on to the baking pan and spread the nuts to the edges.
Place the baking pan on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, your kitchen will smell wonderful. Take out the pan, rotate it and put it back in the oven for another 8 minutes. Note- you do not want to brown the nuts. They should look only slightly darker than when they were placed in the oven.
After the nuts come out of the oven, let them cool completely before touching. This is important. Serve or store in an airtight container. I like to use large mason jars. Some of the nuts will clump together like brittle. Those bits are particularly yummy.
These nuts are a delicious snack. Perfect for Aperitivo!