So, you’ve invited people round for Christmas and you need to make some pre-lunch or pre-dinner snacks. The easiest option would be to simply open some bags of nuts and leave people to it. But since you’ve gone to the trouble of decorating your home, you want to make more of an impression on your nearest and dearest. Don’t worry: these three simple yet impressive ideas for tasty appetisers will bowl them over.
Baked mixed nuts, herbs and spices
Melt some butter and honey in a frying pan over a low heat and then add some thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, freshly cracked black pepper and salt. Stir well. Next whisk up the white of an egg and when peaks start to form, add to the pan. Mix in a selection of your favourite nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts…), transfer to an oven dish and then bake for about 20–30 minutes at 170 ºC. Remove, sprinkle with coarse salt and leave to cool before serving.
Rolled-oats and mixed-nut bars
Crush some bananas in a bowl and then add some rolled oats, chopped walnuts and chopped figs. Use a mould to shape the mixture into a bar and bake for 10 minutes at 180 ºC. Leave to cool for 2 hours before serving.
Goat’s cheese, grape and pistachio balls
Roll the cheese into balls and push a grape (or stuffed olive, if you prefer) into each one. Coat them in chopped pistachios. Pop into the fridge for a few minutes and then spear them with a cocktail stick before serving.