You may not always serve afternoon tea (in fact, you may not ever), but if you ever feel like putting the kettle on and whipping up something special, British master pâtissier and television personality Eric Lanlard has a new book filled with sweet treats, light bites and elegant hors d’oeuvres sure to please your guests. Break out your fanciest platters and watch these chic appetizers disappear.
I like to call these creations my little gardens! As well as being supercute, they are so fresh and crunchy, and I like to serve them with a rich satay sauce. Of course, you can use other seasonal vegetables or dipping sauces if you prefer.
- Scant 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 2/3 cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries
- 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 baby carrots, with leaves on
- 6 large green asparagus stalks, trimmed
- 6 French breakfast radishes
- 1 large cucumber
- mint sprigs, to garnish
- Ready-made satay sauce, to serve
For the bundles
Put the vinegar, sugar, spices and bay leaf in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Place the carrots and asparagus in a heatproof, non-reactive shallow dish and pour over the hot vinegar. Leave to stand for 3 hours, then add the radishes and leave to stand for a further 1 hour. Rinse the vegetables and pat dry on kitchen paper.
Cut 6 long, thin slices from the cucumber using a speed peeler. Slice the pickled vegetables in half lengthways, then divide into 6 portions.
Wrap a cucumber ribbon around each portion to create small bundles. Stand the bundles upright on a serving dish and garnish with mint sprigs. Serve with satay sauce.