Selection of Starters

We have planned a simple but elegant 3 courses dinner, this recipe was brilliant. It wasn’t insanely complicated to make, it could also be prepared ahead of time. Naturally, small pieces of food or dips often serve as nibbles or canapés at cocktail parties . But, here we are, serving these trio dips after the cocktail hour as a starter! Yeah, you heard it right! I don’t think there is a specific rule for when and what to serve during an occasion. More often we go for what we feel like eating that time, with so many food choices available to us. 

Pre-dinner drink – I am going to pretend the glass contained only fruit juice or some kind of fizzy drinks and not rośe 😉  

Dips served with toasted pitta bread. Ingredients and method are the FF:

Smoked Mackerel Mousse: 

350 gram smoked mackerel, skin removed

250 ml sour cream or cream fraichè 

1 tbsp lime

Chopped spring onions

Salt and Pepper

Tip the smoked mackerel with its skin peeled together with the sour cream into a food processor and run until smooth and mousse-like. Squeeze in half a lime and quickly whisk again. You can add salt if you feel like it. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with chopped spring onions and pepper. 

Artichoke, Caper, and Lemon Dip:

400 gram Greek yogurt

4 spring onions, finely sliced

1 tbsp each dill and mint, chopped

Extra virgin olive oil

Tip the yogurt into a fine sieve set over a bowl, then leave to drain in the fridge for 1 hour. Discard any liquid that has drained off. Scrape into a mixing bowl then stirs in the onion and most of the herbs. When ready to serve, drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining herbs and a little black pepper.

Tangy roast pepper and walnut dip:

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

100g/oz walnut halves toasted

225g/8oz roasted red peppers from a jar, drained

1 tbsp tomato purée

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

1 tsp each ground cumin and smoked paprika

In the pan, heat the ground cumin and smoked paprika in the olive oil until fragrant. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a food processor, then season with salt and pepper. With the motor running, slowly pour in the spiced olive oil until incorporated. Add a tbsp of water if it’s too thick. Scoop into a bowl and serve with freshly ground black pepper and smoked paprika on top. 

Just to give you an idea how this was done. Everything was made ahead of time and arranged on any plate or platter really. (See photos above.)

Definitely one of my many best weekends! 

 

ENJOY!

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