The slow pace

Christmas party ideas

These days everyone seems to be either going or coming from a Christmas party. Good food, fun drinks and old friends… what’s not to love? Well, all the mess that comes with it, even more if you are hosting one of those get togethers. But we have you covered: here you have 3 very simple recipes that your guests will love and you can prepare in no time!

This is our informal Christmas party menu: goat cheese salad, kale chips and smoky walnut and cumin muhammara. A non traditional yet light and spicy menu that is different from what your guest would expect and is perfect to share.

Lets start with the muhammara, that takes a tiny bit more time. We found this recipe in the wonderful book A modern way to eat, by Anna Jones, which we have already mentioned before in this Salted caramel brownies recipe and this Coconut and vanilla cake recipe.

You will need:
75 g walnuts (plus a few more to decorate)
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 roasted red peppers, peeled, deseeded and chopped (you can roast them the day before!)
2 slices of brown bread in breadcrumbs
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar + 1 tbsp agave
A pinch of chilli flakes
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Sea salt
Black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Ground cumin

Preheat the oven to fan 200ºC and put the walnuts and cumin seeds on to a baking tray. Roast for 5 minutes.
In a food processor, mix the roasted walnuts and cumin seeds with the red peppers. Blitz to a paste and then add the breadcrumbs, tomato purée, vinegar and agave, chilli flakes, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Bitz again until you have a smooth paste. Then add 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and blitz again.
Serve the muhammara with some walnuts, ground cumin and olive oil on top. We love to dip into it with some warm pita bread, but you can also offer your guests some crudités, like cucumber and carrots.


Now onto the goat cheese salad. Absolutely everyone that knows us has eaten this at some point because it’s one of our go-tos! Just like this caramelised leek tart. It can’t be easier to put together and the result is delicious. You just need 4 ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry:

200 g goat cheese
1 jar of pitted black olives
Extra virgin olive oil


Just chop the cheese, serve in a bowl, add the pitted olive oils, sprinkle with oregano and drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top. You may want to double the ingredients because everyone would love this simple dish. Guaranteed.

And finally the kale chips. We happen to live in a city where kale is almost worshipped since time immemorial (it’s a key ingredient in the most traditional dishes) and this time of the year is perfect to find great quality kale at the farmers market. You will need:

A bunch of kale
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
Sea salt to taste
Extra virgin olive oil

Prepare the seasoning first by mixing the cayenne pepper, the smoked papika and the sea salt. Preheat the oven to 150ºC and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Remove the kale leaves from the thick steams and tear into bite size pieces.
Wash the kale leaves and carefully dry them. It’s very important that there’s no humidity because the drier the leaves, the crunchier your chips will be.
Place the kale into the baking tray and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle your seasoning on top and mix well to distribute evenly.
Bake for 8 minutes and serve!
Make as many batches as you need/want. They are unbelievably good! Maybe even better than potato chips!

Have a great time at your Christmas gatherings and remember:

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world”.

(J.R.R. Tolkien).