Category Archives: Starters

Parmesan and Thyme Crostini

Serves: 9

150g grated parmesan

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 (200g) tub cream cheese, softened

1 baguette

1. Preheat the grill. Slice baguette into 1cm slices. Arrange the bread slices on a baking tray. Toast under the grill for 1 minute per side, or until both sides are slightly toasted.

2.In a mixing bowl, combine the Pecorino, garlic, thyme and cream cheese. Spread the mixture over the tops of the baguette slices. Grill for a further 3 minutes, until cheese is melted.

A lovely recipe to serve as a starter.  The cheese is very strong so you might want to serve with some grapes.  I served with Ricotta and roasted tomoto crostini and Prosciutto, pear & rocket rolls.  YUMMY!!!


Prosciutto, pear and rocket rolls

Makes 24

2 ripe but firm pears, cored and halved

1 tsp lemon juice

2 large handfuls of rocket

12 slices of proscuitto

20g of parmesan

24 cocktail sticks

1. Cut each pear half into 4 long pieces, to make 16. You’ll need 12, so eat the rest.

2. Combine the pears and lemon juice and season.

3. Put a pear slice and a few leaves of rocket on each prosciutto slice. Add a shaving of Parmesan, roll tightly and secure with 2 toothpicks.

4. Roll all the others, then cut each in half in between the toothpicks.

Another great canape recipe.  I served them when friends came over for dinner and they went down a treat.  I served them with Parmesan and Thyme Crostini’s and Ricotta and roasted tomato crostini’s.

Ricotta and roasted tomato crostini

Makes 24


4 cups tomatoes

5 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and black pepper

1 cup ricotta

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Heat oven to 400° F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast until the tomatoes are beginning to burst, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush both sides of the bread with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Bake until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Dividing evenly, spread the ricotta on the toasted baguette slices, top with the tomato mixture, and sprinkle with the thyme.


I served with salmon blinis and mozzerella and marinated pepper bruschetta.


Mozzerella and Marinated Pepper Brushetta


Serves 4

1 yellow pepper

1 red pepper

10ml olive oil

1 sprig of flat-leaf parsley, chopped


1 ball of good mozzerella

Burn the skins of the peppers on the hob. Once the skins are completely burnt, use a teatowel and rub off the skin.  Wait to cool before removing the seeds and stalks. Cut each pepper into slivers and marinate them for one hour in the olive oil and chopped parsley.

Season each piece of ciabatta with olive oil and salt, then grill or griddle each side for 20-30 seconds until lightly toasted. To serve, season the burrata with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and black pepper. Place a portion of the burrata on each piece of ciabatta and top with a spoon of marinated peppers.

I served with salmon blinis and ricotta and tomota crostinis.


Salmon blini

16 Blini pancakes

5 tbsp crème fraîche

1 tbsp creamed horseradish

150g smoked salmon

Warm the blinis in the oven. Mix the crème fraîche and horseradish together and spoon a little onto each blini. Top with a small piece of smoked salmon, season with freshly ground black pepper and serve.

I served the blinis with Mozzerella and Marinated Pepper Brushetta and Ricotta and Tomato Crostinis and they all went down a treat.