Zingy salads, delicious dips and oozy burrata, these vegetarian Christmas starter recipes show that there are many ways you can avoid the standard smoked salmon, terrines and meat patés. Our favourite cooks, from Nigella to Ottolenghi, share their best starters for a special festive spread…
This bright festive salad combines crunchy winter radicchio and chicory, sweet red peppers, pops of pomegranate and a zingy clementine dressing. Elegant perfection!
Creamy, oozy burrata is a fresh cheese made from mozzarella and cream, and pairs well with acidic fruit, such as tomatoes, pink grapefruit, clementine or blood oranges. Ottolenghi pairs burrata with striking blood oranges here, but if you can't get hold of them, swap in another fruit instead.
“It’s amazing how incredibly elegant, silky and delicate beetroots can be”, says Jamie Oliver. The trick here is to invest in a mandolin or make sure you have a super-sharp knife to cut the beets into extra-thin slices. Marinated in balsamic and olive oil, and served with rocket, this is a beautiful starter for Christmas Day.
The beets and leeks can be cooked the day before which will help you to get ahead of the Christmas rush. Paired with rocket, pomegranate seeds and a walnut dressing, this is a lovely, light salad to kick off dinner.
Crunchy and golden on the outside, and molten, oozy cheese on the inside, these crisp Camembert slices are pure heaven. Paired here with the sweet sourness of a Morello cherry dressing, this is a delicious veggie starter.
Making your own hummus is so simple, blitzed up here with jarred chickpeas and sweet, roasted garlic. Nigella recommends serving up this vegetarian nibble or starter with grissini, toasted pitta torn into bits, or crudités.