A classic Russian dish, blinis are small pancakes typically made from buckwheat flour and are a perfect starter for your Christmas menu. Our version starts with a simple spelt batter that makes 30 blinis, which can be made several hours ahead of your event.
Here we show you four tasty ways to top these finger food favourites. From traditional smoked salmon blinis to a vegetarian baba ganoush and zucchini salad, there’s a blini for every guest to enjoy!
Sift flour and baking powder into a medium bowl; make a well in the centre. Whisk egg, buttermilk, butter and salt in a jug; pour into dry ingredients, stir until just combined. Stand 5 minutes.
Coat the base of a large frying pan with oil spray; heat pan over medium heat. Spoon 2 teaspoons of mixture for each blini into pan (six at a time); cook blinis for 1 minute each side or until browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Repeat with remaining mixture to make 30 blinis in total. Serve with one of the toppings below.
Four blini recipes
Smoked salmon blinis with radish
Combine 1 cup (240g) crème fraîche or sour cream, 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind and 2 teaspoons lemon juice in a small bowl; season to taste. Top blinis with crème fraîche mixture, 300g sliced smoked salmon, 3 thinly sliced radishes (105g) and 2 tablespoons fresh dill sprigs. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
Chicken pâté, fig & walnuts
Spread blinis with 250g chicken pâté. Cut 4 black figs (240g) into thin wedges. Heat 2 tablespoons honey in a small frying pan over medium heat, add ½ cup (50g) walnuts; stir for 3 minutes or until nuts are toasted and honey has thickened. Carefully stir in 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar. Top blinis with fig slices and sticky walnuts.
Sauerkraut & roast beef
Combine 1 cup (240g) sour cream and 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard in a bowl. Spread blinis with cream mixture. Layer blinis with 300g beef pastrami, torn into smaller pieces, and ½ cup red cabbage sauerkraut. Top each blini with a flat-leaf parsley leaf.
Baba ganoush & zucchini salad
Spread blinis with 200g baba ghanoush. Snap off zucchini from 6 zucchini flowers; reserve flowers for another use. Using a vegetable peeler, peel zucchini lengthways into ribbons; place in a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind and 1 tablespoon each lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil; mix gently. Top blinis with zucchini mixture and 2 tablespoons dukkah.