We love to share our home with family and friends during the festive season. While we are passionate about food and cooking, we also cherish this precious time with our guests. With this in mind, we have compiled some of our favourite, easy canapé recipes to take the fuss out of Christmas hosting.
Pecan-stuffed dates (Ve)
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
50g fresh breadcrumbs
100g pecans, finely chopped
1 tbsp thyme leaves, chopped
50ml vegan vegetable stock or water
12 medjool dates, pitted
12 small sage leaves
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the shallot and a generous pinch of salt and cook for 2-3 mins until softened, then add the garlic, breadcrumbs, pecans and thyme and cook for 1 min more. Add a splash of vegetable stock to bring the mixture together, then set aside. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cut the dates in half lengthways (but don’t cut all the way through). Take small balls of the stuffing and push inside the dates, then push the sides of the dates back together. Put a sage leaf on top of each date, then put the dates on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Get ahead by prepping your dates up to this point – they will keep in the fridge overnight ready to be baked. Brush the outside of the dates liberally with olive oil, then bake for 15-20 mins until the sage leaf is crisp. Serve immediately.
Teriyaki tempeh with peanut dip (Ve)
For the tempeh
200g pack tempeh1 tbsp olive oil
For the sauce
150ml teriyaki sauce
40g white sesame seeds, toasted
For the peanut dipping sauce
30g peanut butter
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
1 lime (½ juiced, ½ cut into wedges to serve)
pinch of sugar
First, make the dipping sauce. Mix all the ingredients except for the lime wedges, adding a splash of water to loosen if it is too thick. Season and set aside. Can be made up to a day in advance and kept in the fridge.Cut the tempeh into 16 slices. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the slices of tempeh for around 3 mins each side. Add the teriyaki sauce to the pan and turn the slices to coat them. Let it bubble away for 1-2 mins – you’re looking for the tempeh to be well covered and sticky. Tip the sesame seeds into a cup. Take the sticky slices of tempeh and push a wooden skewer into each (don’t push them down too far). Dip one end of the tempeh into the sesame seeds, then transfer to a serving platter with the dipping sauce in a bowl and the lime wedges on the side.
Caramelised mushroom tartlets (V)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
250g chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
3-4 tbsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
Butter for spreading
12 slices of thin sliced white sandwich bread
100g grated gruyere or cheddar, for sprinkling
Heat the oil in a generous frying pan, add the onion and fry over moderate heat for about 7 mins until soft and golden. Stir in the sugar and seasoning, turn up the heat and add the mushrooms. Sizzle for 5 mins until you have driven off any moisture and the mushrooms are golden. Stir in the garlic for a few further mins, until fragrant, then turn off the heat and stir in most of the thyme (save some for sprinkling). The mushroom mix can be chilled at this point.To make the tartlet bases, cut 7-8cm circles out of the bread using a cookie cutter or glass. Butter one side and stick buttered-side down into a 12-hole tartlet tin. Freeze any leftovers to make breadcrumbs.When ready to bake, heat oven to 220C/200 fan/gas 7. Divide the mushroom mixture between the tartlets and top with a sprinkle of cheese. Don’t be too tidy about this – any cheese on the tin will form a lacy edge to the tartlets. Bake for 10-15 mins until golden and bubbling. Sprinkle over the reserved herbs and serve.
Serrano-wrapped pear with goat’s cheese
6 slices of Serrano ham
a small log (125g) of goat's cheese (you won't use it all)
½ a packet of rocket leaf
Tear 6 slices of Serrano ham in half. Core a pear and cut into 12 slices. Place a piece of pear at the bottom of the ham slice. Add a 3cm piece of goat's cheese and a few rocket leaves. Roll up and secure with a cocktail stick.
Beetroot & blackberry cured salmon
800-1kg side of salmon pin-boned and scaled
For the cure
90g brown sugar
125g sea salt
80g blackberries or elderberries
2 raw beetroots, peeled and chopped
3 juniper berries, crushed
4 tbsp gin
For the herb coating
1 bunch of dill,
6 white peppercorns, crushed
1 tbsp freshly grated horseradish
2 tbsp gin
In a food processor, combine the ingredients for the beetroot and berry cure. Unravel some cling film but keep it attached to the roll. Spoon a bit of the cure on the cling film then lay the salmon, skin-side down, on top and pack the rest of cure over the flesh. Roll the fish tightly in cling film to create a package. Put the package in a shallow baking dish or shallow-sided tray and lay another tray on top. Weigh the tray down with a couple of tins and put in the fridge for two days, turning the salmon over occasionally.
On the second day, remove the salmon from its wrapping and scrape off any excess cure. Gently rinse the remaining cure off of the salmon and pat dry with kitchen towel. In a bowl, combine the chopped dill with the peppercorns, horseradish and gin. Prepare another piece of cling film for the salmon and cover all over with the herb mix. Wrap the salmon up again as before. Put it in the baking tray, weigh it down, and leave, for at least another 8 hrs. Remove the salmon from its wrapping and transfer to a board. Finely slice and serve with sourdough crackers and pickles. Will keep in the fridge for up to three days.
Thank you to BBC Good Food for the above delicious recipes, take a look at their website for even more recipe inspiration.