3 ideas for Christmas Day Starters

Gnocchi with a Cranberry dressing – serves 4-6

400g fresh potato gnocchi
30g butter
35g fresh sage leaves
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Rocket leaves

100ml extra virgin olive oil
50g cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan Crisps to serve

Parmesan crisps:

100g grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 fan). Line a tray with some parchment paper. Place the parmesan on the tray in one large rectangle shape in an even thin layer. Put in the oven for about 8-10 minutes until crisp and golden. Allow to cool completely. Then break into even size pieces.

1. Cook the gnocchi according to the pack instructions and drain well.
2. Meanwhile melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the sage leaves and fry for a few minutes.
3. Add the ground cinnamon and fry for another minute.
4. Add the drained gnocchi and stir gently.
5. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Make the dressing by mixing the ingredients together.
7. Place the rocket in the centre of the plate and place the gnocchi on top of it. Then drizzle the plate with some of the dressing.
8. Garnish with the parmesan crisps.

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Cantaloupe Melon with Parma Ham, Buffalo Mozzarella & Rocket – serves 6

1 Cantaloupe/Galia melon, sliced into wedges, skin & seeds removed & diced into chunks

6 slices Parma ham, roughly chopped

1 large ball buffalo mozzarella, torn into chunks

Small bunch basil leaves, finely sliced

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Bag of rocket leaves to serve

  1. Put the melon, parma ham, mozzarella and basil into a large bowl and mix gently to combine.
  2. Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey and salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Put the rocket leaves into a bowl and add half the dressing and toss gently.
  4. Mix the other half of the dressing in with the melon & ham.
  5. Place a small amount of rocket on the centre of each plate and the top with the melon and ham mix and serve immediately.











Carrot, Honey & Ginger Soup – Serves 4

Large knob of butter

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

850g carrots, peeled and diced

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, grated

3 inches ginger root, peeled and grated

4 sticks celery, diced

1 litre boiling water

2 kallo chicken stock cubes

1 tablespoon honey

4 tablespoons double cream

Chives finely chopped to garnish

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

  1. Put the butter and oil into a large pot over a low to medium heat and once the butter melts add the carrots, onion, garlic, ginger and celery. Season with some salt & freshly ground black pepper. Cover with a square of greaseproof paper and sweat for 15 minutes. Stir two or three times during the 15 minutes. The vegetables should be quite soft after sweating.
  2. Add 1 litre of boiling water and two Kallo chicken stock cubes. Stir well.
  3. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are very soft.
  4. Puree with a stick blender and then pass through a sieve into a clean pot.
  5. Discard what is left in the sieve.
  6. Reheat the soup in the pot. Add the honey and cream and check for seasoning.
  7. Sprinkle with the chives to garnish and serve.