Party bites for the New Year

The ladies who booked Arlene’s Festive Flair cookery class at Carrick YMCA were impressed with this week’s deliciously simple recipe for Parma ham and goat’s cheese toasts with cranberry andcaramelised red onion- perfect as a starter or party bite for the New Year.

Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON
Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON
Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON

They especially loved the caramelised onions with cranberry which they thought would also be great with chicken or steak.

These toasts are a great way of using up leftover cranberry sauce or cheese.


Parma ham and goat’s cheese toasts with cranberry and caramelised red onion

Serves 4


25g butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 red onions, sliced

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cranberry sauce

dash of balsamic vinegar

salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 slices of Ciabatta bread

200g goat’s cheese, crumbled

8 slices Parma Ham

thyme leaves and sprigs of thyme to garnish

extra virgin olive oil


1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onions, cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often. You want them to be well softened. Turn up the heat to high and add the sugar. Stir and cook for a few more minutes, uncovered, until they begin to caramelise.

Remove from the heat and add most of the cranberry sauce, a few thyme leaves (keep some for garnish) and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Toast the slices of ciabatta and arrange two pieces onto four serving plates. Top with caramelised onions, parma ham, crumbled pieces of goat’s cheese and garnish with cranberry sauce and sprigs of thyme.

Season well with black pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.