Small plate recipes to upgrade your at-home snacks
After a long day at the (WFH) office, one of our favourite ways to unwind is with a visit to the virtual bar with friends. We’ll pour ourselves a glass of something cool and satisfying, hastily fill a ramekin with posh crisps and olives from a jar and join whatever Zoom meeting is acting as that night’s post-work pub setting. (Don’t ask how we still manage to be “a couple of minutes late”.)
But after a few weeks of the same routine, we want to raise our bar snack game. We’re talking about the kind of dishes that will tide us over until dinner, that are a little bit fancy but aren’t too taxing. Find some delicious inspiration below, including something to do with all that sourdough we’ve all been making...
Broad bean, mint and ricotta bruschetta
We love recreating dishes from some of our favourite London restaurants, and one of our go-tos is POLPO and its gorgeous Venetian small plates. We recently tried our hands at recreating their famous spinach, soft egg and parmesan pizzetta – successfully, we might add – and next we think we’ll make good use of our sourdough to pile up their classic bruschetta. If you love the sound of those dishes, you can also buy founder Russell Norman’s cookbook here.
Try this recipe from POLPO
Vegetable crisps with curry salt
“They’re made from vegetables, therefore two bowls count as two of my five a day.” We’ve all said it and we’re sticking to it. Not only are veggie crisps oh-so-moreish, they’re incredibly easy to make and are a brilliant use of your peelings and leftovers. Simply toss your peelings with olive oil and seasoning, tip onto a baking tray and roast for 20-25 minutes. For a little extra flavour, this recipe also shows you how to make your own curry salt.
Follow the recipe from olive
Smoked mozzarella and bolognese arancini
The philosophy of famous late-night brasserie Balans Soho Society is simple: "Too much of a good thing is a good thing." Thankfully, it’s easy to channel this attitude at home – by making their dreamy smoked mozzarella and bolognese arancini. You'll need to do the prep a little in advance, to give your risotto time to cool in the fridge, but trust us – these decadent, deep-fried beauties are sooo worth it.
Follow the recipe from Balans
The very mention of "seafood tapas" immediately transports us to a beautiful Mediterranean fishing village, dining al fresco in a relaxed summer dress with a chilled glass of white wine. Until the time comes where we can go back, we’ll recreate the experience on Zoom, dreaming up future holidays with friends and a few sizzling, small plates of our own. Serve these prawn croquetas with lemon slices and, oh go on then, some Sauvignon Blanc. You deserve it.
Follow the recipe from Rick Stein
If you're looking to switch up your go-to of pita breads and hummus, this smoky, Middle-Eastern dip made from grilled aubergines, garlic and tahini is a real game-changer. We’re using Paul Hollywood’s recipe, and he recommends serving it with a Middle-Eastern flatbread like Maneesh. If yeast is a little difficult to come by at the moment, you can find out how to make easy, yeast-free flatbreads in our blog post for simple and delicious bread recipes.
Follow the recipe from Paul Hollywood
The "best ever" guacamole
When all else fails and you’re short on time, you can always rely on a mix of chopped-up raw veg, chips and dips. That said, guac always tastes better when you’ve made it fresh. But which homemade recipe is the best of the best? We’ve tried a few, and this one from Downshiftology has just the right amount of kick to it. The winning combo? Avocados, onion, tomatoes, coriander, jalapeño peppers, lime juice, garlic and salt. Yum.
Follow the recipe from Downshiftology
Image from Downshiftology