This light side dish is packed with refreshing Middle-Eastern flavour – fragrant cumin and fresh mint combine with chickpeas, crisp green beans and red onion for the perfect Christmas party food. You can cook the beans up to one day in advance and marinate the red onion and make the spiced yogurt up to three hours in advance – saving you time to start the celebrations in style.
Put the onion in a small bowl. Add the vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt; mix well. Cover and set aside for 1-3 hours.
Cook the beans in a pan of boiling water for 4-5 minutes. Drain, refresh in a bowl of iced water, then drain again. Set aside or cover and chill until needed.
For the spiced yogurt, toast the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Tip into a mortar and lightly crush with a pestle. In the same pan, heat the oil and fry the garlic for 1 minute. Stir in half the crushed cumin, then tip into a small bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice, then stir in the yogurt. Season to taste.
Put the chickpeas in a serving dish and toss with half the yogurt mixture. Drain the onion and add to the dish, along with the beans. To serve, gently toss with the remaining yogurt mixture and cumin.
Season well, then scatter over the mint.
Tip: For a tasty extra veg dish, roast cauliflower florests for 20 minutes at gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Remove, toss with harissa, lemon juice and zest; return to the oven until golden.
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