I am not a big fan of Christmas crackers. There, I’ve said it. I haven’t grown up with them and I’m not as amused by the cheesy jokes and flimsy paper hats as everyone else appears to be. Nevertheless, they have become part of our Christmas tradition, my children being especially fond of them.
One Christmas cracker I have a lot of time for is this festive starter, a recipe I came up with to serve to vegetarian friends one Christmas which has now become a firm favourite. It’s quite versatile and can be served as a canapé, a starter or, if made a little bigger, as a filling main course. You can also vary the ingredients to include meat, if you like, but this is one vegetarian dish that even meat lovers find irresistible.
here's what you'll need...
- 500g butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 200g feta cheese, cut into small cubes
- 200g hummus (shop-bought or homemade)
- 200g blanched almonds
- 100g shelled pistachios
- 50g dried cranberries
- 24 sheets phyllo (filo) pastry
- Olive oil to brush the pastry, as needed
- Salt and pepper to season
- A little ground cinnamon to dust (optional)
- Kitchen string to tie the crackers (optional)