I’m at home for New Year’s Eve this year. Truth be told I am too tired to go out partying. It’s been an incredibly busy year and Christmas and so I’m looking forward to a night in front of the fire without the worry of babysitters, dogsitters and taxis home.
Food and fizz will play a big part in celebrations even though I‘m at home. For me preparing nibbles for everyone to enjoy is like getting dressed up to go out. The best bit in my view.
I always start with a basic dip. Like a faithful old black dress, a basic dip can be dressed up to look fabulous. You can accessorise it with herbs, seeds and oils. You can match it up with different breads and give it different themes so no-one will ever know it’s all part of the master plan to keep things simple.
You can serve this Mediterranean style by pouring over a little olive oil, toasted sesame seeds and dried thyme or oregano and pair it with some toasted pitta bread.
Or go Mexican and serve with some Cumin and Smoked Paprika Potato Wedges. Chop the potatoes into wedges, toss in vegetable oil and then sprinkle over some salt, cumin powder and smoked paprika before baking in a 180C oven til brown. Add some chilli flakes and cumin to the dip too.
Bruschetta are a great platform for dips and layering flavours. I use sourdough toast. Butter is the first layer. Then on this version I’ve spread some sundried tomato paste. Then some cannellini bean dip and topped that with some rocket leaves and chopped tomatoes.
If you don’t fancy making these in advance, place the toasts on a platter with the dip and the other ingredients and then let your guests build them as they want to eat them. I find a few other ingredients from the shelves creep into their accessorising - all part and parcel of a homely night in with family and friends!