Chef Ciara Fennessy knows a thing or two when it comes to canapés! The main thing is to keep things simple, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on taste. Another great tip is to plan and make what you can ahead.
With the festive entertainment season in full swing, keep your guests happy with Ciara’s top 3 canapé recipes.
Tomato Crostini – makes 20
- 1 baguette
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or spray olive oil
- 3 ripe vine tomatoes
- 1 cloves garlic
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Small bunch fresh basil leaves – keep a few back to garnish your finished dish
- Sea salt
- Sweet drop red peppers (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees / 180 fan.
- Thinly slice the bread at an angle into ½ inch slices.
- Place on a baking tray. Brush or spray with some olive oil.
- Place in the oven for 10 minutes until beginning to turn golden.
- Remove and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile deseed the tomatoes, by cutting them in half and scooping out the seeds with a teaspoon.
- Dice the flesh and place in a bowl.
- Peel and finely chop or grate the garlic. Add to the tomatoes.
- Add the extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the bowl and stir well.
- Slice the basil leaves and stir through the tomatoes.
- Just before you are ready to serve stir through some salt.
- Spoon some of the tomato mixture on top of each crostini.
- Garnish with some basil leaves and some sweet drop red peppers if using.
Parma Ham Bites with Mozzarella & Semi Sun-dried Tomatoes – makes 12
- 1 pack of Parma ham (usually 6 slices 78g)
- Rocket leaves
- 1 tub of baby/mini mozzarella balls or pearls (210g)
- 12 semi sundried tomatoes or sun blushed tomatoes or sundried tomatoes
- Lay out the Parma ham on a chopping board and cut in half lengthways.
- Lay a few rocket leaves at the end of each strip and place a sundried tomato on top followed by a mozzarella ball.
- Roll up tightly and secure with a cocktail stick.
Carrot, Honey & Ginger Soup – serves 12 (canapé size)
- Large knob of butter
- 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
- 850g carrots, peeled & diced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, grated
- 3 inches ginger root, peeled & grated
- 4 sticks celery, diced
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 tablespoons double cream
- Chives finely chopped to garnish
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 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 or parchment paper and sweat for 15 minutes. Stir two or three times during the 15 minutes. The vegetables should be quite soft after sweating.
- Add the chicken stock and stir well.
- Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are very soft.
- Puree with a stick blender and then pass through a sieve into a clean pot.
- Discard what is left in the sieve.
- Reheat the soup in the pot. Add the honey and cream and check for seasoning.
- Serve in small cups sprinkled with the chives to garnish.
Ciara’s Kitchen is a small cooking school just outside the beautiful village of Delgany in Co Wicklow, Irelands Garden County. This is just south of Bray on the N11.
Ciara left behind a busy marketing career and headed to the world famous Ballymaloe cooking school in 2004 to be taught under the watchful eye of Darina and Rachel Allen.
After Ballymaloe Ciara started as a chef in Avoca Handweavers and from there moved to Brambles Café whilst also teaching at Cooks Academy.
Ciara is passionate about teaching cooking and so set up Ciara’s Kitchen from her lovely countryside home in Delgany, which she shares with husband Ronan and young twins, Holly and Freddie. Groups are kept small and interactive. Good fun and delicious food are always on the menu! Check out her website here