Blushed and Nutted Cheesy Olive Biscuits – A Cut Above The Rest

My daughter asked me to produce some canapés for an event – they had to be made ahead, be easy to pack up and take to a different location, look festive, and be easy to eat. This is what I made. A look of panic crossed her face when I said I needed to heat them gently – she’d cleared away all her kitchen clutter and stored it in the oven!

You could experiment by replacing the pistachios and olives with some Patum Peperium, or some mashed anchovies (soak them in milk for half an hour and then rinse first). The dough can be frozen, or the finished biscuits can be frozen, thawed (takes about an hour) and reheated gently.


Recipe for blushed and nutted cheesy olive biscuits

Makes about 15


  • 75g/3 oz/10 tbsp/½ cup plain flour
  • 75g/3 oz/¾ cup parmesan or grated cheddar
  • 75g/3 oz butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • a shake of bitter-sweet, smoked paprika
  • 25g/1 oz/ about eight sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 25g/1 oz shelled pistachios
  • 1 oz pitted black olives – Crespo do excellent ones. If you buy the horrid tins of pitted olives in brine, give them this treatment.
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp poppy or sesame seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Mix the flour, cheese, butter, salt and paprika with an electric beater until it forms a ball of pastry.
  3. Wrap it in clingfilm and chill for about ten minutes if you have time.
  4. Dab away most of the oil from the tomatoes with kitchen paper and chop.
  5. Chop the olives and nuts.
  6. Roll out the pastry on a cold, floured surface until it’s about ¼cm/½” thick.
  7. Brush over the whole surface of the pastry with the beaten egg.
  8. Sprinkle over half the surface the chopped nuts, tomato and olive.
  9. Fold over the empty surface on top of the chopped-ingredient covered half and roll out again lightly so that the pastry is now about twice the thickness.
  10. Brush the surface with beaten egg and sprinkle on the seeds.
  11. Cut out with appropriate shapes and put onto a greased baking sheet (or one covered with silicon paper), chill again for about half an hour if you have time.
  12. Put in the oven and check after 15 minutes – if they look as if they need a little longer return to the oven for another five minutes.


This post is dedicated to Ornella Iannuzzi, Josef Koppmann, Jig Pattni, Rachel Boston, and Astratelli

cheesy biscuits recipe
Use star and Christmas tree shapes for this time of year.



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