Our favourite recipes to get you in the festive spirit
With the Christmas season fast approaching, here are our quick-and-easy festive recipes to get you into the party throwing mood
BEETROOT CRISPS WITH BEETROOT SALAD AND FRESH CHEESE
- Rosie Birkett
Rosie Birkett's Beetroot Crisps with Beetroot Salad and Fresh Cheese
Rosie Birkett is a chef and author of A Lot on her Plate. Making beetroot crisps is surprisingly simple and the raw chopped beetroot salsa is delicious. Serve without cheese for vegans. Rosie’s preference is to use fresh Sussex Slipcote cheese from High Weald Dairy, available widely. This recipe was created for The Soil Association’s organic Christmas and #FeedYourHappy campaign. All ingredients to be organic where possible.
Ingredients: Serves 8
For the dehydrated beets
1 large beetroot, peeled and finely sliced
For the chopped salad
1 large golden beetroot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 sharp green apple, cored
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
Small bunch of dill
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
10ml rapeseed oil
100g fresh cheese
Preheat the oven to 110°C. Prepare some baking sheets with baking paper and put the beetroot discs on them. Dehydrate in the oven until crisp and dry for a few hours.
To make the chopped salad, combine the beetroot, carrot, apple and shallots in a food processor.
Add the dill, lemon juice and rapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper.
Blitz for a couple more seconds, until you have a finely chopped salad.
Taste for seasoning.
To assemble, place a spoonful of the chopped salad on a dehydrated beetroot crisp.
Top with a little of the fresh cheese and garnish with dill.
POTATO BLINI WITH CRAB COCKTAIL
- Sudi Pigott
Photography credit: @Maja Smend
A delicious, speedier alternative to proper fermented blini from Sudi Pigott’s book ‘Flipping Good! Pancakes from around the world.’ Using fluffy baking potatoes is essential and they need to be baked for a good hour before making the blini to ensure the mesmerizing lightness.
Makes about 20 small 6cm pancakes
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 1 hour 15 minutes (including cooking potatoes)
TOTAL: 1 hour 25 minutes
DIETARY: Use gluten-free plain flour
SERVES: Makes about 20 small 6cm pancakes
Ingredients: Potato blinis
300g baking potatoes
2 eggs, beaten, plus 2 egg whites, beaten until stiff
60ml double cream
1 ½ tbsp plain flour
½ tsp salt
Butter for cooking pancakes
1 dressed crab, carefully picked to remove any stray shell or 200g crabmeat
1 lime, grated zest and 3 tbsp juice
½ red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
1 tbsp flat parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
200ml crème fraiche
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Prick the skins of the potatoes and bake for an hour or until the insides are soft.
Meanwhile, prepare the crab cocktail topping: simply mix the crab with lime zest, juice, red chilli, fresh herbs and olive oil. Season. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Push the cooked potato through a mouli or a sieve. Mix potato with 2 eggs, double cream, milk, flour and salt either in a food processor or with an electric whisk. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Fold in whisked egg whites gently with a spatula. Leave to rest for 30 minutes in a cool place.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan until medium-hot. Add 1 tsp butter and swirl to coat the pan. Cook as many pancakes as will fit at one time (the cooked ones can be kept warm in a low oven). Drop in tablespoonsful of potato batter pouring from the tip of tablespoon. The pancake mix will sizzle as it hits the pan. Cook for just 2 minutes until lightly golden. Flip and cook the underneath for a further 2 minutes or slight. They should be lightly golden each side. Add a little more butter for cooking each batch of pancakes.
The potato pancakes can be made in advance and re-heated in a low oven on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. If re-heating potato pancakes, allow to cool a little before topping with crème fraiche, otherwise this will melt and run off. Top with crab cocktail and serve.
Vanilla Infused Salmon Fillets
- Eric Lanlard
Eric Lanlard. Image: @Nielsen-Massey
A recipe from TV chef patissier/author Eric Lanlard, an inveterate party giver.
300g Salmon fillets
2 tsp Rock salt
2 tsp Light muscovado sugar
2 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste
1 tbsp Mini capers, chopped
1 tbsp Fresh chopped dill
Drizzle of olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Wholemeal toasted bread, to serve
Rub the vanilla bean paste all over the salmon fillets. Place them into a deep dish and pour over the vodka, cover with cling film and place in the fridge to marinade for a minimum of 4 hours.
Meanwhile, using a pestle and mortar, ground the salt with the muscovado sugar, After four hours, drain the marinade from the bowl and rub the salty mixture into the flesh of the salmon.
Cover and place in the fridge for 24 hours.
The salt will have extracted the liquid from the fish. Rinse the marinated salmon under running water and using a sharp knife slice the filet into thin slices.
Place them on pre toasted bread. Sprinkle over a few capers, pepper and some fresh dill. Just before serving, squeeze the lemon over these little tasty canapé treats.
NORDIC GINGER BISCUITS
- Stephanie Archer
Healthy Christmas Gingerbread Recipe
These warmly spiced gingerbread biscuits are a treat for all the family. And with ground almonds, coconut oil and no refined sugar, they are also surprisingly virtuous.
In an ideal world, I would have baked some healthy cookies as a gift for friends and family. In reality, I've been too busy, but still hope to bake cookies with my children during the holidays. This recipe has little unrefined sugar and is packed with nutrients so go ahead and enjoy the Christmas festivities!
Ingredients: Makes 10
250 g ground almonds
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground cardamom
pinch of ground allspice
½ tsp orange zest
3 tbsp of coconut oil
4 tbsp date or maple syrup
pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Mix all the ingredients together to form an even dough.
Roll out the dough with your fingers and use cookie cutters to cut your desired shapes. You want the biscuits to be quite thick so they remain moist.
Bake for 10 min until the edges are slightly brown and the centres remain soft. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
The biscuits will harden. Enjoy!
Dust lightly with icing sugar if, like me, you can’t resist the Christmas look. If you want a healthier (less refined) version of icing sugar make your own by simply pouring coconut sugar into a blender until it is fine and fluffy.
Vegetarian; vegan; free from gluten dairy and refined sugar.