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Christmas crostini: roasted beetroot hummus with goat’s cheese, candied walnuts and basil

Christmas crostini: roasted beetroot hummus with goat’s cheese, candied walnuts and basil

Christmas is a time like no other for gatherings of family and friends, and with family and friends come many a peckish mouth to feed. Whether you choose to serve these jewel-coloured morsels as an alternative to a classic starter (like our spiced soup) on Christmas Day or as a moreish canapé on Boxing Day or New Year’s Eve, they promise to serve as a feast for the eyes as much as they do for bellies.

Makes enough for: 20 portions
Put aside: 20 minutes for prep and 15 minutes for cooking

What you’ll need

For the hummus – with plenty for leftovers
480g butter beans tinned and drained
3 medium beetroot roasted and peeled
3 tbsp tahini
1 lemon juiced
1 tbsp white wine vinegar

For the base
5 slices of sourdough crusts removed

For the candied walnuts
20g walnuts crumbled
10ml honey clear and runny

For decoration
100g goat’s cheese crumbled
A small handful of fresh basil leaves

What to do

1 First, heat your oven to 180ºC fan or gas mark six so that it’s ready to go when you come to make your crostini.

2 Next, you’ll need a food processor to make the hummus. Add all of the hummus ingredients at the same time and pulse until it’s beautifully smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside until you’re ready to serve – pop it in the fridge if you’re likely to be a while.

3 Now back to the crostini base. Take a small circular cookie cutter (about 4cm in diameter ideally) to cut out sourdough rounds. If you don’t have one, you could go freehand for a more ‘rustic’ look.

4 Lay them on a lightly oiled baking sheet, drizzling a little olive oil and salt over the top, and leave them to bake for 15 minutes until golden.

5 While the bread is baking, take a frying pan and put it on a medium heat. Once it’s warmed up, decant the walnut chunks into it and pour the honey over the top. Cook for about 12 minutes until they start to colour – watch out that they don’t catch – and then transfer to a small bowl to cool.

6 All that’s left to do is to assemble them. One at a time, take a sourdough base and spoon on a small amount of hummus – you can always add more as you go. Next, some broken up goat’s cheese followed by the candied walnuts and a few shards of torn basil as the finishing touch. Serve on a big platter for everyone to tuck in and come back for seconds (and thirds).

For dishes similar to our seasonal soup, stop by our Bath-based cafe, The Provenist if you’re ever nearby for a morsel to bite and something to sip this winter.