With my oven already busy cooking the turkey, I like to make sure my Christmas Dinner starter is a simple assembly that doesn't require any cooking – and ideally it will be something I can prepare in advance.
For Christmas Dinner this year I've come up with a showstopping starter I call Salmon and Avocado Towers. It's especially fab for Christmas Day because its green and orange colours look really festive on the Christmas table.
Basically you press mashed, seasoned avocado into a ring mould, add a layer of salmon and then more avocado, then remove the mould. Hey presto – you have a gorgeous individual serving of this delicious starter. It looks spectacular but it's so easy to do!
If you don't have ring moulds, start saving up your empty tin cans now. Simply use a can opener to remove both ends of each can, then give the cans a good wash. If possible, gather enough cans so that you have one for each guest – that way you can prepare the towers in the morning and keep them chilled in the fridge until you're ready to whip the cans off just before serving them. Click here for the full recipe.
You can use gravlax, cold-smoked salmon or even superfresh raw salmon, depending on your tastes. Or if you have vegetarians in the house, remove the seeds and skins from fresh tomatoes and dice the flesh finely to use in place of the salmon.
Countdown to Christmas dinner
Each day for the next nine days I'll be posting a new recipe from my Christmas Day menu, so check back here each day. To be notified by email when I've posted a new blog, click on the RSS Feed tab on the right of this page. Or if you'd prefer you can like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter to be the first to hear when each new recipe goes live. On the last day I'll post a Menu Planner to help you prep ahead as much as possible and make your Christmas Day a stress-free zone.
The main event:
Spicy Barbecued Beef