It’s time to raise your glass to celebrate and toast the year with friends, colleagues and family. If you’re wondering what to serve with your sparkling wine celebrations, nuts pair beautifully. The earthy richness of nuts enhances the yeasty, toasted notes of champagne and other worldly bubbles. And there are so many ways to prepare nuts that will bring a delicious addition to your holiday party.
Cheese and Nut Platter – Cheese is one of the most classic additions to a champagne toast, but have you thought of jazzing it up a notch by incorporating nuts with the cheese? Think goat cheese rolled into balls and coated in finely diced nuts; blue cheese sliced lengthwise and filled with honey and diced nuts; or for a bit fancier presentation, top a round of brie or camembert with a drizzle of honey, some chopped nuts and wrap in puff pastry before baking until golden brown. Serve warm while the cheese is still molten – just divine with pure Champagne. Or warm orange slices, with herbs such as oregano, thyme or rosemary and toasted nuts such as pecans, and spoon over slices of soft rind cheese on bread.
Naturally a classic Champagne is great with these, but not just champagne, a Blanquette de Limoux, Crémant de Bourgogne or other non-vintage French sparkling wine would be delightful too.
Crackers – You can make your own crackers with nuts to make that perfect partnership, or make parmesan nut tuilles – place mounds of parmesan cheese scattered with chopped nuts on a non-stick pan over medium heat and cook until melted, then flip over and cook until set. Cool and serve as crackers. Lovely with a high-end Prosecco or Franciacorta.
Filo Fingers – Brush sheets of filo (phyllo) pastry with butter or oil, dust with nuts, shredded cheese and spices, then roll up into cigar shapes and bake until golden. The crisp toasty notes are lovely with a glass of bubbly—like a bright Cava!
Bruschetta with Nuts – The world is your oyster with ideas for bruschetta with nuts. Try toasted ciabatta bread spread with a nut butter or pesto and topped with mozzarella and tomato. Or spread with fig jam, ricotta, some toasted hazelnuts or almonds, fresh herbs and a slice of prosciutto or smoked salmon.
Puff Pastry Fingers – Roll puff pastry until just a bit thinner and cut into fingers. Scatter with goat cheese, rosemary, pine nuts or chopped nuts and bake until puffed and golden.
Chocolate Enhanced Nuts – There are so many ways to liven up chocolate with nuts. Melt your favorite chocolate in a parchment lined tray, scatter with nuts, dried fruit, even trendy toppings such as coarse salt, chili flakes and bacon bits. Allow to set then break into bark. Here’s an idea from our website. Experiment with Brazil nuts, cashews, pine nuts and macadamias – just delicious!
Stuffed Dates – An old classic, dates sliced open and filled with goat cheese, walnuts or pistachios, honey and thyme pair beautifully with a local sparkling wine, of which there are many to choose!
Something more substantial? – Prawns dipped in egg wash, then in ground macadamias and shredded coconut before deep frying perhaps? Or scallops seared and served with an almond Gazpacho like at the famous Waterbar restaurant? Scroll through our brochure to find this recipe and more from well-known chefs.
Wishing you all a happy, safe and healthy holiday season!