by Dominic Franks from DomInTheKitchen.com @DomInTheKitchen
One of the questions I get asked most about the Christmas Day Lunch is what to make for a starter. Many people don’t bother and go straight to the big bird and I don’t blame them, there’s a lot of food but I also believe in pacing yourself throughout the afternoon.
My suggestion is to offer some kind of sharing platter starter that can be served to guests as they arrive, perhaps with a glass of bubbly. It staves off grumbling tums just in case the meal takes longer to cook than planned, (and let’s face it, it always does.) And then when you do finally sit down you can serve the star of the show knowing your guests have already had their appetites whetted with this tasty morsel.
Kitchen tools that could be useful:
Prep: 10 mins
Cooking time: no cooking
for the hummus
- 400g tin of chickpeas – drained and rinsed
- 3 medium pre-cooked beetroot – cut into quarters
- 2 cloves garlic
- the zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (you may need a little more)
- 1 tablespoon greek yoghurt
- a pinch of salt
- a pinch of ground cumin
for the griddled toast
- 6 slices sourdough
- Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Hot smoked salmon
- An assortment of pickles
Start with the hummus. Place the beetroot, chickpeas and garlic into a food processor and process for 1 minute until turned to a rough pulp. Add all the remaining ingredients and process until you have a creamier consistency. It will be slightly grainy but that’s ok. If it’s dry or you want to thin it out and make it creamier, add more tahini or water, until you like the consistency.
Adjust seasonings, adding more salt, cumin, olive oil, or lemon juice if needed.
When you’re ready to serve, lay your bread onto a chopping board and drizzle both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place a pan on a high heat and griddle the bread until golden on both sides.
Slather a generous amount of the hummus onto the toast and lay these onto a large serving platter.
Flake your hot smoked salmon over the toast, then season with salt, pepper and capers.
Lay a variety of pickles onto the board, so create a riot of seasonal colours.
You can make the hummus ahead of time as it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. For a vegetarian alternative, replace the fish with feta cheese.