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Nibbles

From small, savoury bites to accompany a welcoming drink, to moreish snacks to enjoy when the party’s in full swing, we’ve covered all bases here. These tantalising appetite-whetters range from elegant to rustic, but on-trend ideas and full-on flavours are guaranteed

Watercress soup with pecorino straws Ⓥ

SERVES 6. HANDS-ON TIME 30 MIN, OVEN TIME 15 MIN

• 15g butter

• 1 small onion, chopped

• 1 small potato, diced

• 400ml vegetable stock

• 150ml whole milk

• 200g watercress

FOR THE PECORINO STRAWS

• Plain flour, for dusting

• 325g sheet ready-rolled puff pastry

• 1 medium free-range egg, beaten

• 50g finely grated pecorino or vegetarian alternative

1. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and add the chopped onion. Cook gently for 5-10 minutes until soft, then add the potato, vegetable stock and the whole milk. Cook gently for 15-20 minutes until the potato is soft.

2. Add the watercress to the pan and stir through. Transfer the pan contents to a blender and whizz until smooth. Taste and season as necessary. Set aside until needed (see Make Ahead).

3. For the straws, heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. On a surface lightly dusted with plain flour, roll out the pastry to two thirds of its original thickness. Slice into 30 x 1cm batons and place on a baking sheet. Brush with the beaten egg, then scatter with pecorino. Season and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden and puffed. Cool on a wire rack.

4. To serve, heat through the soup, pour into 6 shot (or small) glasses and serve with the straws.

PER SHOT WITH 2 CHEESE STRAWS 208kcals, 11.9g fat (6g saturated), 7.9g protein, 13.7g carbs (2.6g sugars), 0.6 salt, 0.7g fibre

MAKE AHEAD

If you’re making the soup in advance, cool it quickly over a bowl of iced water to preserve its bright colour.

Farinata Ⓥ

MAKES 2, TO SERVE 8-10 HANDS-ON TIME 15 MIN, OVEN TIME 10 MIN, PLUS 10 MIN RESTING

• 150g chickpea (gram) flour

• 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus 4 tbsp for frying and extra for drizzling

• ½ tsp baking powder

• 1 tsp salt

• 4 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked

• Sea salt for sprinkling

1. Put the chickpea flour, 2 tbsp of the oil, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir through 300ml cold water using a balloon whisk, to form a loose batter. Rest for 10 minutes, then skim the froth from the surface (or see Make Ahead).

2. Heat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/gas 9. Heat a 20cm heavy-based, ovenproof frying pan on the hob. Add 2 tbsp of the oil and, when it shimmers, pour in half the batter. It should sizzle like Yorkshire pudding batter. If you have two pans you can make both farinata at the same time.

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About Delicious Magazine

There’s something magical about preparing feasts for friends and family. But what to cook? This collection of brilliant mix and match dishes includes recipes for every occasion, all tested in the delicious. magazine kitchen. Whether you’re cooking a casual supper or three-course feast, these recipes will take the pressure off you and guarantee happy guests with clean plates.
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