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Happy Hour: 5 Ingredients That Will Steal The Show!

Summer evenings are perfect for entertaining friends and family with light suppers or fun cocktail dinners. Appetizers are quick and simple to make—and always a crowd pleaser. Looking for original ideas to feed your guests? No problem! These 5 ingredients are all you need to get started.

1 Avocado

Hot or cold, cubed or in guacamole, this versatile fruit adds a touch of freshness to any appetizer.


Once scooped out, you can stuff your avocado with mango salsa or lentil salad. For a winning trio, try adding shrimp, bell peppers and celery. Just mix with a bit of mayonnaise, chopped chives and a pinch of curry for a stuffed avocado that will amaze your guests.


Serve avocado mousse in a glass or on crackers. For a lighter version, swap the traditional mayonnaise or cream cheese for milk and lime juice. With just 1 tbsp of milk for 2 avocados, your mousse will be light and creamy—without the extra fat! Spoon into a glass with some crabmeat and pink grapefruit wedges for a treat that’s ready in no time.


See the recipe for Scallop and avacado bruscetta

Expert Tip

You can cook avocado on the BBQ. Just be sure to do it quickly! Cut avocado in half with the skin on, then place on the BBQ, rotating once until crisscrossed grill marks appear. Remove after a minute or two and peel off skin. Perfect with a salad or shrimp!


No matter their colour or shape, tomatoes are the stars of summer cooking.


Stuff cherry tomatoes with mascarpone cheese or olive tapenade. Want to try something different? Make bite-sized BLTs by slicing the bottoms off cocktail tomatoes so they will stand up. Then scoop out the flesh and stuff with baby spinach or arugula leaves, a piece of bacon, and some chipotle sauce. It’ll leave your guests licking their fingers!

On the BBQ

Make mini brochettes with cherry tomatoes and chorizo. Place on the grill a few minutes and brush with warm honey. Children and adults alike will fall in love with these sweet and salty delights!


​​​See the recipe for Crostinis with Grilled Eggplant Tapenade & Reduced Tomatoes

3 Endive

When it comes to serving summertime happy hour snacks, white and red endives are so much more original and colourful than plain old bread and crackers!


Endive boats are a fun and simple way to serve appetizers—and cut down on dirty dishes! Just add smoked salmon, tapenade, blue cheese, tofu spread, or pulled duck.

In a sandwich

Cut lengthwise, endive makes for a delicious tuna roll. Just slice your endive into rounds and hold each piece together with a toothpick. Delish!


See the recipe for Endive Spears with Bocconcini, Salmon & Fennel

4 Watermelon

This summer classic pairs perfectly with almost any herb from the garden—from dill and mint to parsley, coriander, basil, and tarragon. Or serve with fine Quebec cheese. Great for impromptu get-togethers!

As a condiment

Cut watermelon into cubes and add to guacamole for a fun new dip. Or add to mini fish tacos along with mango, tomatoes, and fresh coriander.


Want to impress your guests? Grill watermelon slices on the BBQ for a minute or two, then garnish with goat cheese mousseline, lime zest, and a drizzle of olive oil. Devine!


​​​See the recipe for Watermelon and Feta Salad with Mint

Expert Tip

Did you know you can swap the tomatoes in gazpacho for pureed watermelon? The perfect way to start your get-together on a fresh note!

5 Cucumber

Fresh, crunchy cucumber is one of summer’s most delicious treats. Your guests are sure to love it, too!


Try something different by carefully cutting the cucumber lengthwise into long, thin strips. Next, stuff and roll each strip like manicotti with red pepper spread or feta mousseline. Then garnish with greens or a sprinkle of fresh herbs. A real treat for guests!


Cut cucumbers into cubes and make a vegetarian tartar! Just add finely chopped red onion, mint and parsley and drizzle with a dressing made from olive oil, lime juice, and whole-grain mustard. Arrange elegantly on a plate and add a dab of garlic and Greek yogurt sauce.


​​​See the recipe for Cucumber Yoghurt Sauce


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