I love making all different types of sharing boards when I am entertaining as they are quick and simple so I am not spending all my time at the oven when my friends and family are over. This one is ideal if you are having a New Years Eve party or gathering. Just increase the amount of them according to how many guests you have over.
I’ve listed a few ideas for you but feel free to add additional items. Figs, celery, apricots etc all work well.
Have a lovely time whatever you are doing. Wishing you all a happy, healthy new year.
Crackers – use a few types
3 types of cheese per board
Sesame bread sticks
Grapes – red and green
Fresh basil to decorate
Serve with some rustic freshly baked French bread and salted butter at room temperature and of course lots of lovely wine.
Beautiful vine ripened tomatoes and mozzarella go hand in hand. I like to serve a little one of these Caprese salads when we are having a light meal or before a bowl of pasta.
Buy the best tomatoes, mozzarella and balsamic vinegar you can find as the dish will be so much better.
2 large vine ripened tomatoes – the redder the better
1 large ball of mozzarella
Hand full of fresh basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and cracked black pepper to season
I don’t need to tell you how to make a salad I’m sure so this is just an obvious guide.
Start by chopping your tomatoes into slices followed by your mozzarella. Arrange prettily on a plate and top with your fresh basil leaves. Drizzle over your extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and finally pour over a little balsamic vinegar.
Have you ever made sushi before? It’s so much easier than you think. My tip is to make your sushi rolls when the rice is slightly warm as this makes it easier to shape than with cold rice. Here I’ve given a recipe for the sushi rice. Simply add whatever you fancy to it, I’ve added cucumber and peppers for a light vegetarian / vegan option.
Pack of sushi nori ( seaweed wraps)
250g sushi rice
330ml water to boil rice in.
3 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
A few slices of cucumber and pepper to fill.
Rinse your rice under the tap in a sieve until the water runs clear. Soak it in water for 20 minutes or so, then drain thoroughly.
Add the rice to your 330ml of water over a low heat and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for approx 10 minutes leaving the lid on.
Allow the rice to stand.
Mix up your seasoning and stir into the rice.
Lay out each wrap and coat lightly with the sushi rice adding your fillings down the centre.
Gently roll into a cigar shape as tightly as you can lightly wetting the edge of the wrap so it sticks together.
I’ve added a recipe for all my friends doing Veganuary. These little samosas make the best lunch. They’re made using filo pastry so delightfully delicate and light. Just add a crisp salad with them full of red onion, tomato and a side of mango chutney for dipping. Fabulous when you have lots of left over veg you need to use up. Even better for lunch boxes the next day.
1 large potato
1 cup frozen peas
1 large clove garlic – minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
3 sheets filo pastry
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 table spoon poppy seeds
Pre heat oven to 220c / 200c fan and take your filo out the fridge at least 15 mins before you intend to use it.
Start by boiling your potato and carrot in a pan of salted water until tender.
Meanwhile, sauté your diced onions in a frying pan until they start to soften along with the minced garlic.
Add your spices and the frozen peas.
Stir around the pan until the peas are cooked. This should only take 2-3 minutes.
Once your onions are cooked and your veg is tender, drain and chop it into pieces, then add it to your onion and spice mix stirring to combine.
Place your 3 sheets of filo flat on the work surface. You need to work quickly as it can dry out quick.
Cut each sheet into 4 rectangles. You may have a marginal amount left from each sheet in order to do this but you can just discard this.
Fold each rectangle into a triangle shape. Open and fill with approx 1 tablespoon of the filling. Fold over back into the triangle shape and brush with oil all over and to seal the edges. Feel free to trim any edges to get the perfect triangle shape.
Place each samosa on a lined baking tray and sprinkle over the poppy seeds. Bake in the centre of the oven for approx 20-25 minutes.
Serve with a side salad and compulsory mango chutney.
I always make these Christmas Eve as I just love the tradition of it. We have so many delights, glazed ham, mulled wine, chocolate log, prosciutto puffs, mince pies it wouldn’t be Christmas without them.
Give these pork and apple sausage rolls a try. The apple adds just the right amount of sweetness. They are so simple and what’s more there’s no need to faff about making your own pastry. Even Jamie Oliver buys a pack of ready roll now again and if it’s good enough for Jamie!
Makes approximately 16
1 pack ready roll puff pastry – remove from fridge 15 mins before at least
450g sausage meat
1 grated apple – peeled
1 small onion grated
Half teaspoon Salt
Half teaspoon Cracked black pepper
Egg – beaten to glaze
Puff of flour to roll out the pastry
Place your sausage meat in a large mixing bowl and grate in your onion and then apple. Add your salt and pepper and mix to combine.
Puff a little flour on your work surface and roll out your pastry. You need to make sure it’s been out the fridge for at least 15 minutes or it will be too hard to roll and snap.
When you’ve rolled a squarish shape cut in half so you have two long strips.
Place a sausage shape of sausage meat all the way down the middle of each strip, fold over and press to seal. Slice into slices a couple of inches thick.
Glaze with the beaten egg
Place each strip on a lined baking tray and place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes.
Remove, shake over a little salt and you will be in heaven.
Cheese and bacon loaded potato skins. Crunchy, loaded with mature cheddar, sizzling crispy bacon and served with a sour cream and chive dip. Great as a side to load onto plates that everyone can help themselves to.
100g mature cheddar – grated
4 dessert spoons butter
Salt and cracked black pepper to season
4 rashers bacon – chopped into pieces
2 spring onions
Sour cream and chive dip to serve
Pre heat oven to 245c / 225c fan
Wash your potatoes and prick each one with a fork a few times.
To speed up cooking time you can pop them on a microwaveable plate and microwave for 8 minutes all at the same time.
Place on a baking tray in a hot over for 20 minutes.
Remove, cut in half and scoop out half a potato from each half and reserve in a bowl.
To the bowl you have set aside add your grated cheese and butter, season, mix thoroughly and transfer back into the potato.
Sprinkle over the bacon bits and bake in the oven for another 20 minutes.
When they are ready to come out the oven remove and sprinkle over sliced up spring onion and serve with a sour cream and chive dip.
I love a sharing board and they’re perfect for this time of year. You can load them up with whatever you fancy but if you need a little inspiration here is what I often make. I make these before we have a light dinner or sometimes just on their own with a bottle of chilled white wine when I fancy a night off. Perfect for New Years Eve.
1 cantaloupe melon
4 slices prosciutto
Sun dried tomatoes
Feta cheese cubes
Vine cherry tomatoes – the redder the better
Wedges of parmesan
Fresh baguette – sliced
It couldn’t be simpler. Literally load up your slate / board with all your goodies in whatever portion sizes that work for you.
Open a chilled bottle of fizz, get the tunes on and enjoy.