A little something to start…

Photographer: Kurt
Makes 20 of each canapé

What better way to welcome your guests than with carefully assembled, delicate (and delicious) canapés. For our dinner party this month we served up three bite-sized treats to start the evening in the manner in which we intended to carry on. We prepared the individual components for each canapé prior to heading out the door for the Lantern Festival; upon our return we simply assembled and devoured them.

One of my favourite Our Kitchen recipes of late is Sara’s walnut ricotta and prosciutto on croute, so we simply had to make these! To accompany them we created two new canapés – a vegetarian baked ricotta crostini and a seared beef with blue cheese crème version for the carnivores.


Seared beef on blue cheese crème with pear
150g beef eye fillet
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt
100g cream cheese
30g blue cheese
1 pear, poached and peeled (I used tinned pears)
20 crostini breads

Baked ricotta with char-grilled red pepper, basil and balsamic
300g ricotta
50g parmesan, grated
1 egg
2 tbsp basil leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Butter for greasing
20 crostini breads
2 char-grilled red peppers, torn into strips
3 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
20 basil leaves


Seared beef on blue cheese crème with pear
1. Coat beef fillet in olive oil and crust with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and a little salt.
2. Sear in a very hot pan for 2 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool and then place in refrigerator until required.
3. Combine cream cheese and blue cheese.
4. Finley slice pear into ~4cm long pieces.
To assemble: Very finely slice beef fillet into 20 pieces. Smear each crostini bread with blue cheese spread. Top with one slice of pear and finally a piece of beef.

Baked ricotta with char-grilled red pepper, basil and balsamic
Preheat oven to 170ºC on Bake. Grease a 24 cup mini muffin tin.
1. Mix ricotta, parmesan, egg, chopped bail leaves, salt and pepper together in a medium sized-bowl.
2. Spoon ricotta mix into muffin tin, filling near to the top. Smooth the tops.
3. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden.
4. Cool and remove carefully. Refrigerate until required for assembling canapés.
5. Toss char-grilled pepper strips with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
To assemble: Place one baked ricotta on each crostini bread. Top with char-grilled pepper, a drizzle of the balsamic/olive oil mix and one basil leaf.