Grilled Asparagus with Serrano Ham and Lemon Aioli

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Here is another quick and easy yet impressive appetiser for the festive season. It can all be prepared the day before and just grilled before serving. You could serve it as an entree or as part of an antipasto plate.

You will have leftover aioli as well, it goes really well with some Christmas ham and soft white bread.

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas with friends and family, lots of food and drinks and fun times!dsc_1376 dsc_1343

Recipe
Serves 6 as part of a platter
Ingredients
20 asparagus spears
20 very thin slices serrano ham
Olive oil
1/2 lemon
Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
Cracked pepper
Aioli (makes about 2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp salt
4 egg yolks
2 cups olive oil
2 tbs french mustard
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 tbs water
Method
For the aioli, place the garlic, salt and egg yolks in the bowl of a small food processor and process until combined. With the motor running, start adding the oil in a slow and steady stream until all gone. Aioli should be thick and pale like soft butter. Transfer to a bowl and add the mustard, lemon juice, zest and enough water to loosen into a creamy consistency. Cover and keep in the fridge until needed.
For the asparagus, wrap each piece of asparagus with the ham, starting from the bottom and working towards the spear, leaving the spear uncovered.
Heat a grill pan over high heat and drizzle with a little olive oil. Grill the asparagus for about 5mins, turning frequently. Remove from pan and place on to a serving platter.
Sprinkle with the lemon juice, parmesan cheese, parsley and cracked pepper and serve with some of the aioli.
Enjoy!

Kalamata Olive and Roast Almond Tapenade

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Every year I say, I’m not doing anything for Christmas, I can’t afford it, I don’t have time, blah blah blah. But then, every year, next minute, I’m elbows deep in royal icing, fighting off the flies on a 35 degree summer’s day, making gingerbread houses that no-one is going to eat. And I secretly love it.

However, I’m guessing most people aren’t like me, so here is a recipe for an impressive but very easy appetiser for these entertaining times. Will post another one tomorrow for an even easier one!dsc_1371 dsc_1396dsc_1415 dsc_1434

Recipe
Makes about 2 cups
Ingredients
500g kalamata olives
4 anchovies plus 1 tbs of their oil
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs capers
4 tbs olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1 cup roasted almonds plus a quarter of a cup of sliced to serve
To Serve
4 garlic bulbs, cut and roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper at 180 degrees for about 30mins
Cherry tomatoes on the vine, roasted at 180 degrees for about 15mins
Danish Feta
Fresh baguette (or a gluten free alterna
Fresh basil leaves
Method
To make the tapenade, first roughly chop the almonds in a food processor by using the pulse button so as not to over-chop. Empty them into a bowl.
Place the olives, anchovies, garlic, capers, olive oil, lemon juice and pepper in the processor and process until combined and relatively smooth. Empty into the bowl with the almonds and stir to combine.
To serve, place in a bowl and top with the extra sliced almonds. Place bowl on a platter with the garlic, tomatoes, feta, baguette and basil leaves.
Enjoy!

Gluten-free Toasted Muesli

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I haven’t felt the slightest bit christmasy this year but the other day I decided I wanted to gift all of my good friends with something beautiful, just to let them know how much I love and appreciate them. It doesn’t need to be christmas to do these things I know, but I thought, why not! This year has been a wild one! So much change and exciting things have happened and my good friends have been there through all of it. I’m so appreciateive.

After saying this, it seems a bit ridiculous that I’m giving out muesli….but….it’s gluten free! And it’s toasted! And scrumptious! I feel like most of the time gluten free muesli is quite bland and unexciting so i wanted to try and make a really delicious and decadent one. I think I succeeded! After shooting these photos I devoured the entire bowl within seconds!

Merry Christmas and all of that! I’m excited for the new year!

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Recipe (this made 9 by 750ml jars)

Ingredients

340g puffed rice

500g dried pitted dates

450g walnuts, roughly chopped

500g raw almonds, roughly chopped

400g mixed seeds (such as pepitas and sunflower)

250g shaved coconut

150g pistachios, roughly chopped

150g chia seeds

400g sultanas

400g cranberries

400g dried apricots, sliced

200g desiccated coconut

3 tsp vanilla bean paste

4 tbspn cinnamon

8 tbspn coconut oil

1 cup honey (or treacle/golden syrup if you want it to be vegan)

Method

Cover the dates with boiling water and leave for 30mins. Blend together with vanilla, cinnamon, coconut oil and honey.

Mix all ingredients except sultanas, cranberries, apricots and desiccated cocnut in a large bowl. Combine with the date mixture and use hands to evenly coat all ingredients.

Spread onto trays and bake, mixing frequently, until light brown, abut 20 mins. (If you do this large amount for presents this will be about 6 trays worth).

Remove from oven and spread out onto baking paper on a table or bench to let it dry and crisp up. Mix in the remaining ingredients.

Put into containers or jars and enjoy or gift it to others! I love it with almond milk and fresh mango!