Offering hors d’oeuvres is one of the social traditions in Switzerland and it is an integral part of the Swiss gastronomic culture.
A brief characteristic of the Swiss hors d’oeuvres – features
As in our country, in Bulgaria, we offer salad, small sandwiches, cold appetizers or warm entrées, in Switzerland as well, the antipasti are fairly diverse both as tastes and as a way of preparation. The difference is that in the country of the chocolate and cheese they divide the food stimulating the appetite into aperitifs (aperos) and hors d’oeuvres.
According to the Swiss gastronomic culture, aperitifs (aperos) are rather a kind of ‘appetizer’ that you can enjoy with friends over a pint of beer or a glass of wine. The classical Swiss aperitifs typically include a wide range of different kinds of cheese, cold meat and sausages, olives, nuts, even desserts like Schinkengipfeli or Flûtes.
Specialties in the Swiss cuisine are distinguished by the simplicity of their preparation and with their finesse. Usually, they are offered as a smooth transition to the main meal, but very often they can be consumed as a main dish as well.
Popular cold and warm Swiss hors-d’oeuvres
Some of the most popular aperitif snacks or hors d’oeuvres, which are often present in the menu of the restaurants are the piquant dumplings with filling which are prepared quickly and easily.
Spicy Swiss dumplings
To prepare this simple, but very tasty Swiss appetizer, you need only one packet of butter dough and filling at your choice.
The filling may include sausages, minced meat, salmon and vegetables, different types of cheese, nuts, herbs, and others.
Spread the puff pastry; cut it in squares; put the stuffing in the middle and collect the four ends of the square together. Something like small packets is formed similar to dumplings that you can fry or bake in the oven as you desire.
This Swiss appetizer can be eaten as a main meal as well if in the dish with the dumplings you add a seasonal fresh salad.
The canapés or the “sandwich – bites” are a further proof that the Swiss know how to give pleasure to the palate even with the most ordinary products.
If you decide to prepare Swiss canapés you will need:
Several slices of white or wholegrain bread, egg salad, fresh cucumbers, rucola and salmon.
In order to prepare canapés, you simply must remove the crust of the bread and put on each slice different product. The fine moment here is that the slices are arranged one over another or otherwise said, put on the first slice egg salad, put the second slice on the top, on which, you place the green salad for example, and so, alternate slices and filling, until the canapé starts to resemble a small pile of bread and filling.
After that, it only remains to cut the slices in small bites, to stab each bite with a wooden peg for sandwiches, and to offer the trim appetizer to your guests.
As we talk about delicious food, we cannot help mentioning one more great Swiss appetizer, which is often offered in the refined catering establishments.
Salmon with avocados
The preparation of this appetizer takes no more than ten minutes, but the result is simply incredible.
- 1 avocado (sliced)
- ½ lemon juice
- 100 grams of smoked salmon, cut into pieces
- 4 tablespoons of mousse from horseradish
- Cress, black pepper
The avocado slices are flavoured with lemon juice. The pieces of salmon are spread on with the horseradish mousse and are wrapped around the avocado. The finished hors d’oeuvres are arranged in the dish, stabbed with a cocktail stick and sprinkled with cress and black pepper.
Hörnlisalat (salad with pasta)
The salad with pasta ranks among the classic hors d’oeuvres in the Swiss cuisine. In addition to that, it is easy for preparation; it can be consumed both as an appetizer and as a main dish.
- 300 grams of macaroni
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, finely cut
- 150 grams Tilsiter AOP, cut into cubes
- ½ cucumber, cut into strips
- 8 radishes, cut into thin slices
- 2 apples, peeled and cut into cubes.
Products for the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
- ½ teaspoon of curry
- Salt, black pepper, a pinch of sugar
The products for the sauce are blended well. The macaroni are boiled to the extent of al dente; they are srained well and placed on a serving bowl. The rest of the products are added to the macaroni, and the sauce and everything is mixed gently so that the macaroni can absorb the aroma.
The salad is served chilled with a glass of a good wine as well.
Roasted soft cheese on a canapé of bread
This Swiss starter is a great “appetizer” before the main course. The recipe again does not require supreme culinary skills, but the final result (both gustatory and visual) is simply stunning.
To prepare this hor d’oeuvre you will need:
- 8 slices of bread (preferably with several types of nuts)
- 2 types of soft cheese, about 130 grams each, cut into slices
For the dressing:
- 4 teaspoons of honey
- ¼ of garlic mashed well
- Several leaves of garden tea finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary
- 1 – 2 tablespoons of vinegar
- 2 – 3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
- 1 teaspoon of mustard
- Salt and black pepper
The slices of bread are placed on baking paper for grilling and are topped up with the pieces of soft cheese. The so-prepared canapé is browned in a highly heated oven for about 5 – 6 minutes and if you have a kitchen burner you can simply singe the cheese a little.
The ingredients for the sauce are blended well.
The canapé with the cheese is arranged on a plate for serving and the topping is poured on. Traditionally, the starter is served with fresh seasonal salad. Depending on your preferences you can serve it cold, as well as warm.
There is no way we overlook this unique Swiss gastronomic temptation of potatoes, that we all know under the name of Rosti.
Originally made in the Swiss canton of Bern, very soon Rösti is ranked among the top 5 of the meals in the Swiss traditional cuisine. The dish has been designed as breakfast, but today it is offered as an appetizer or main dish.
The Rösti recipe has many variants and you can try this appetizer prepared differently, but we decided to present you one of the most popular (and easily prepared) recipes, in case you want to try out your culinary skills in domestic environment.
And so the products that you will need to prepare this Swiss starter are:
- 400 grams of potatoes
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- Peel and grate the potatoes by a large-hole grater. Add a little salt.
- Heat the oil and the olive oil in a pan with non-stick bottom.
- Take by hands a little of the grated potatoes and shape them in a little pancake.
- Put the potato pancake to be fried into the heated fat.
- Fry the pancake on each side for a few minutes, as, while frying, press the potato mixture with a spatula, so that the form of hor d’ouvre does not crumble.
Rösti is completely ready when both sides of the “pancake” obtain a nice golden colour.