Christmas doesn’t have to be a season of slaving away in the kitchen, spending hours basting your bird or slow boiling your stock for cappelletti pasta. What I love about the festive season is the socializing, having folks round for drinks and snacks in ultimate relaxation. So, here are my top Christmas canapés, easy to make and even easier to eat.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut out stars from a sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry with a small cutter, and place on greased baking sheets. Brush with an egg and milk wash. Sprinkle with parmesan and chilli powder. Bake for about 7 minutes, until lightly golden and puffed up.
Last Christmas, blinis made their debut in my local Coop. Alleiuja! Get a packet and top them with a circle of cooked beetroot, a layer of cream cheese and a sliver of smoked salmon—and a sprig of dill if you can find some.
Taleggio cheese on toast
Toast slices of French baguette until barely crispy. Top with Taleggio and coarsely chopped walnuts. Return to the grill until the cheese has melted and the walnuts have browned. Drizzle with chestnut honey and serve warm.
Just baked rosemary focaccia
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Take a ready-made fresh pizza dough and use your knuckles to pound it down on a well-oiled baking tray, spreading it out. Sprinkle with rosemary leaves and coarse sea salt and drizzle generously with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden and crispy.
This is the perfect canapé to use whatever you have in your store cupboard and fridge. Anything goes. Take stuffed olives or peppers, prosciutto, salami or wild boar sausages, feta, pecorino or cheddar—thread your chosen ingredients onto mini kebabs or cocktail sticks.
Top five supermarket bubbles this Christmas
Feudi di San Gregorio Dubl Rosé, the palest of pink. (Esselunga, 22.50 euro)
Rotari Brut Trentodoc, delicate and buttery. (Carrefour, 10 euro; Unicoop Firenze, 7.95 euro)
Cuvée Imperiale Brut Franciacorta DOCG Berlucchi, green energy (Unicoop Firenze, 10.39 euro)
Doc Trento Brut Allini, crisp and upbeat, flowers and ripe fruit (Lidl, 6,99 euro)
Lambrusco di Sorbara DOC Secco Saccamore, dry and persistent. (Conad, 11 euro)