Recipes to Cook at Christmas Time

Recipes suggested by some of The Directory community:

Feta, Lentil and Sweet Potato Cakes with Garlic Pea Puree

These can be served as a delicious vegetarian alternative to your Christmas main course or they can be made into croquette shapes and served as canapés. 

2 Sweet Potatoes
170g Puy Lentils
1 Large White Onion, finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and crushed
¼ tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Ground Cumin
Salt and Pepper
200g Feta, crumbled
2 Eggs, beaten
2 cups Plain Flour
200g Panko Breadcrumbs
1L of Vegetable Oil, for frying
Lemon wedges and parsley for garnishing

Stab and Microwave 2 sweet potatoes for 18 mins until they are fully cooked and the inside flesh is completely soft. Peel off the skin and roughly mash the sweet potato.
Cook the lentils according to the packet. Drain the cooked lentils and add to the potato mix. 
Sweat the chopped onion in a little olive oil until translucent. Add the crushed garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add to potato mix. Leave to cool in the fridge.
When the mixture is cool, add large chunks of feta and combine. Shape into small patties and put in freezer for 20 minutes to firm.
Heat up approximately 3 inches of vegetable oil in a deep frying pan. Meanwhile coat the cooled patties in flour, then egg, then coat in panko breadcrumbs.
Fry until golden brown on each side, approx. 6 mins. Keep turning to avoid them burning on one side. 
For the Pea Purée- boil the peas and blend with basil, oil, a chunk of Parmesan and 2 garlic cloves. 
Serve with lemon wedges and chopped parsley.

By Lauren Anderson, former Thomas's Battersea pupil who produces 'homemade everyday much'. Follow on Instagram at @everyday_munch

Spinach, Leek & Feta Borek


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 300g fresh spinach leaves, washed and drained
  • 200g feta cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 9 sheets filo pastry
  • 100g melted butter


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C and grease a baking tray.
  2. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a pan set over a low heat.
  3. Add leeks, garlic and mushrooms to the pan and sauté until soft and lightly caramelised.
  4. Place the spinach in a large bowl and pour over the hot leek and mushroom mixture, stirring until the spinach has wilted.
  5. Crumble your feta cheese into the bowl, add an egg, the zest of a whole lemon, the juice of half a lemon and season generously with salt and pepper.
  6. Take a sheet of filo and brush with melted butter before placing another layer on top. Repeat once more so you have three layers of filo.
  7. Layout a third of your filling in a line along the long edge of your filo, and roll into a log, sealing with butter. Then, carefully curl the pastry into a spiral in the centre of your baking tray. 
  8. Repeat this process for the second and third rolls, wrapping them around the existing spiral.
  9. Brush with melted butter and cover with Sesame, Nigella or Onion seeds.
  10. Bake in the centre of the oven for 50 minutes until golden brown and flaky.

    By Alex Barkshire, former Thomas's Battersea pupil. now working for the Mandarin Oriental.


    Spiced, Roasted Root Vegetables with Feta Cheese and Spinach (Serves 4-6)

    This recipe makes root vegetables the star on your plate.  Serve with a simple grilled fillet of salmon or seabass, or a whole grilled mackerel if you like.

    • 3 medium/ large parsnip, peeled and cut into oblique slices
    • 5 carrots peeled and cut into oblique slices
    • 3 medium sized candy or golden beetroots, peeled and cut into wedges
    • 2 teaspoons of sweet smoked paprika
    • Fresh ginger, thumb sized, peeled and grated
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon of runny honey or maple syrup
    • 40g walnuts roughly broken
    • 1 handful of pumpkin seeds
    • 100g feta cheese
    • 1 tablespoon black onion seeds
    • 1 tin of black beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (vegetarian/vegan)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 large pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

    Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Put all the prepared vegetables in a bowl and toss with the oil, ginger, sweet-smoked paprika and pepper until they are evenly coated. Turn out into a large roasting tin and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes until they are cooked.

    Drizzle with the honey, add walnuts and pumpkin seeds (and beans if using) and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes.

    Allow the pan to cool down a little before you add the baby spinach leaves. The pan should be hot enough that the spinach leaves wilt a little. Add the dressing, along with the crumbled feta and black onion seeds

    For vegans: omit the feta cheese, add black beans as above and serve with houmous

    This is Rachel Hampson's adaptation of a recipe from The Green Roasting tin, by Rukmini Iyer. 

    For more information on Rachel Hampson Nutrition.


    Red Cabbage Ragout

    One of my mother's favourite Christmas dishes and my family's too...

    900g red cabbage
    1 tbsp oil
    2 onions peeled and sliced into rings
    2 dessert apples washed and sliced
    0.5 tsp of cinnamon
    75ml red wine vinegar
    salt and pepper

    Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Shred the cabbage leaves and core. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onions and after a few minutes add the apples and spice. Stir well and after a few more minutes add the cabbage, wine vinegar and 4 tbsp of water. Transfer to casserole dish and cover with buttered greaseproof paper and a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 1-1.5 hours until cabbage is soft. Season with salt and peper. Delicious...

    Sarah Lacaille, Silks PR & Marketing

    Brussels Sprouts - Caroline Davies Nutrition 

    My favourite Christmas recipe which will definitely be on the table on the 25th is inspired by a recipe that my Mum used to make:
    • Blanch baby sprouts for 30 secs and drain;
    • Panfry finely chopped shallots in butter (it’s Christmas!) for a couple of minutes;
    • Add the sprouts and sauté for 6-8 minutes;
    • Add chopped chestnuts (I use vacuum-packed ones) and heat through for a couple of minutes.

    Season with salt and black pepper. Enjoy...

    For more information on Caroline Davies 

    Why House Spiced Pineapple Crumble 

    Henrietta Cotton, the manger of Why House, boutique hotel in Sri Lanka suggests this Pineapple Crumble for a tropical Christmas dessert.

    Chop a whole pineapple into chunks and add 250g of jaggery or soft brown sugar , 8 cloves ,1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp ground cinnamon , 5 cardomam pods crushed and a half teaspoon of grated nutmeg to a pan.  Melt everything together with a good splash of water and simmer until the pineapple is tender and the juices have released. Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick and Cardomum pods.

    Make a crumble topping with 250g butter and 500g  flour and 100g brown granulated sugar (you won’t need all the crumble but it is good to keep in the freezer for small crumble emergencies). You can add chopped nuts or oats but I like my crumble simple.

    Bake until bubbling and serve with thick cream or custard with vanilla.

    See Why House on The Directory  


    Sticky Ginger and Pear Pudding

    This warming delicious pudding is recommended by Katie Barkshire of Silks PR & Marketing...


    • Heat the over to 180 degrees C
    • Topping - melt 2oz butter with 3-4oz of soft brown sugar and stir over a gentle heat for 1-2 mins. Pour into an 8 inch square tin and arrange 1 medium can of pears peeled side down plus a few pecan halves.
    • Gingerbread - sift 4oz plain flour, 0.5 tsp of bicarbonate soda, 0.25 tsp of salt, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp of ground ginger, 0.5 tsp of ground nutmeg and a pinch of ground cloves and combine with 1 beaten egg, 4oz soft brown sugar, 3oz black treacle, 4oz milk and 2oz of melted and cooled butter.
    • Pour into the tin on top of the topping.
    • Bake for 45-50 mins then turn out onto a serving plate, serve warm with whipped cream.


    The Fox & Pheasant's Espresso Martini

    Toby from The Fox & Pheasant in Chelsea has shared with us the pub's famous Espresso Martini see it click HERE