Party prepped: 3 easy dips (or canapé toppers)
Herby, lemony ricotta
In a processor whiz together 50g mixed mint and basil leaves, 3 chopped spring onions, 1 small peeled clove of garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil and a little salt to a paste. Add 250g drained ricotta and whiz again; finally add 1 tbsp lemon juice. Transfer this to a serving bowl, cover and chill until required. Drizzle over a little more oil and scatter with extra herbs, if wished, to serve as a canapé spread or with the dippers of your choice.
Finely grate the zest of 1 lemon and reserve the fruit for squeezing. Melt 75g unsalted butter in a small frying pan over a medium heat, stir in 300g white crab meat (or a mixture of white and brown) and heat through. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest with a squeeze of juice, ¼ tsp ground mace, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper and a little salt if wished. Pack this into a shallow medium serving bowl, cover and chill for 1 hour or until firm. Melt 75g unsalted butter in a small pan and pour over the crab. Decorate with chopped chives. Cover and chill for several hours until set.
Hummus with tahini & pomegranate
Have ready or prepare 90g pomegranate seeds. Drain and rinse 2 x 400g cans chickpeas. Place the chickpeas in a food processor with a peeled sliced garlic clove and a little salt and whiz to a paste, gradually adding 100ml water through the funnel, until you have a thick purée. Now add 4 tbsp lemon juice and 150g tahini then continue to whiz until smooth and creamy. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, a drizzle of any juice given out by the pomegranate seeds and season to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl or plate, cover and chill. To serve, swirl the top, drizzle over more oil and scatter over the pomegranate seeds. Serve with triangles of toasted pitta or your choice of dippers.