Win friends and influence people with this creative lineup of snacks for entertaining.
16 Jan 2020 - 3:50 PM  UPDATED 16 Jan 2020 - 3:51 PM

1. Parade party mix 

Party mixes may easy to buy, but they're also easy to make, which allows for huge variation in ingredients. This version goes beyond the confines of more traditional party mixes, incorporating goji berries, linseed, puffed grains and nori, as well as roasted nuts.

2. Garlic knots

Part pizza, part garlic bread, these adorable little knots are fragrantly yeasty and delightfully soft and crunchy. Serve them warm to make the most of the scattering of finely grated Pecorino cheese and fresh herbs.

3. Pinzimonio (Italian crudites) with bagna cauda

This Piedmontese dish, meaning 'hot bath', consists of raw vegetables and crunchy bread served with a garlicky, salty, melted butter plunge pool. Kind of like a sophisticated Italian version of chips and dip.

4. Pea and ricotta fritti

These little golden morsels are quick and easy to make and light and fluffy to eat. Serve them with a generous amount of lemon wedges and salt flakes, and keep them in mind for go-to vegetarian antipasti option.

5. Chargrilled eggplant and feta rolls

Eggplant and feta are yin-yang match of sweet and juicy and tangy and salty. These simple little rollups celebrate this union perfectly in a party-pleasing finger food. Top them with some bright rocket and glittering crimson pomegranate to give them that festive feel.

6. Jalapeno poppers

A crisp golden shell and soft cheesy centre are the keys to the mix of textures that equal Jalapeno popper glory. In this recipe, this formula is delivered with a twist with the addition of coriander into the cheese mix and a blitzed Ritz cracker coating. An ice-cold Cerveza makes a perfect pairing for this Mexican-inspired snack.

7. Onion and anchovy pizza (pissaladière)

Salt fiends rejoice: this briny concoction from the south of France consists of a pastry base a little thicker than a classic Neapolitan pizza topped with jammy caramelised onions and a generous layer of anchovies and olives.

8. Broad bean puree with shanklish

This simple puree can be used as a dip, spread, and bruschetta topping. It's a well-balanced combination of sweet and nutty broad beans, a creamy, peppery edge from the olive oil, and a lemony lift. Shanklish has a pungent and salty flavour similar to feta, which can be used as a substitute.

9. Eggplant fritti with spiced honey and rosemary

Sweet, savoury, salty, juicy, battered - this snack has it all. The piney flavour of rosemary works well with the sweetness of the honey and eggplant and freshens up the crisp batter casing. Bound to disappear within moments of serving.

10. Cider-glazed chorizo (chorizo a la sidra)

If you thought grilled chorizo couldn’t get any better, try braising it in cider. Deeply savoury, a little sweet and salty, this dish is best served with crusty bread to mop up the succulent juices.

Cider-glazed chorizo.

11. Roast beetroot bruschetta with roast garlic aioli

Dive into the vibrant winter colours of purple and rich gold with these baby beets. They’re bound to a grilled sourdough base with a rich, garlicky aioli, and given some crunch factor with roasted walnuts. This makes a lovely snack or even a light meal.

Roast beetroot bruschetta with roast garlic aioli

12. Pork and veal polpette with chilli and tomato

Traditionally in Italy, meatballs are not cooked in tomato sauce and served with pasta, but fried or baked and served as a snack with a toothpick. This version uses the classic combination of veal and pork, with some ricotta for lightness. A straightforward and satiating snack.

13. Squid croquettes with green sauce (croquetas de calamares con salsa verde)

These dramatic little numbers are a fun alternative to standard croquette varieties, with their sexy black interior and bright verdant sauce. Rest assured, they offer the golden breadcrumb crust and soft potato inner that is beloved of this classic Spanish snack.

14. Ina's parmesan kale chips

Peppery kale leaves tossed in olive oil crisp up nicely in the oven for a healthy and moreish chip. The parmesan gives them an umami boost and makes them (even more) moreish.

15. Crab and prawn sesame toast with sweet chilli

The yum cha cult classic gets a few extra bells and whistles with crab meat as well as prawn meat, black sesame seeds and panko crumbs in addition to the usual white sesame seeds, plus a zingy homemade sweet chilli sauce.

Crab and prawn sesame toasts

16. Dolmades with tzatziki (stuffed vine leaves)

Dolmades take a little bit of time to roll, but the process of wrapping the little parcels can be quite meditative, and the results are worth it. Pour yourself a wine, put on your favourite tunes and get into your flow zone. If you have family and friends at your disposal to assist, it makes a nice communal pastime.

More antipasti aspirations
Mezze platter favourites

It feels like food has been an important part of my family for as long as I can remember. While most kids were in the backyard sandpit, I was more often than not on the floor of my parents' fish and chip shop, being pulled away to lend a hand. Work ethic and food was never in doubt.

Roast cauliflower and anchovy fritters

Deep-frying isn’t as terrifying as it may sound and if the thought of cooking in so much vegetable oil freaks you out, do it with olive oil instead. Using a thermometer to check the oil temperature is the safest and most accurate way to go here – don’t use too shallow a saucepan for frying as you don’t want the oil to work its way over the top of the pan. Throw a few handfuls of grated parmesan into the batter mixture if you like, and note that the best way to spread this over the cauliflower pieces is by using your hands. Messy, but true.

Tomato, saffron and mozzarella arancini

Arancini are said to have originated in Sicily and are traditionally filled with a meat ragù, tomato and mozzarella. A tasty little snack, this version does away with the meat and instead uses saffron, another excellent ingredient of southern Italy.

Fennel grissini sticks

Grissini sticks are the ultimate accompaniment to an antipasto or cheese plate. These more-ish ones are simply seasoned with fennel and sea salt, but feel free to experiment with other flavour combinations.

Meat empanadas (clasico argentino)

Find out why meat empanadas are Argentina's favourite street food, with this delicious and easy-to-achieve recipe.