Parmesan Sables

These savoury little biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to Christmas apéritifs. For a saltier, fishy alternative, substitute the chilli here for anchovies – use a drained 25g tin.

  • Christmas


1 large fresh red chilli
150g plain flour
140g parmesan, freshly grated
140g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
A pinch cayenne pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds


  1. Char the skin of the red chilli over a flame, then put in a bowl under clingfilm to cool.
  2. When the chilli is cool, peel, seed and finely chop. Put the flour, Parmesan, butter and cayenne pepper in a food processor and pulse to crumbs. Then add the chilli (or anchovies, chopped, if using) and 1–2 tbsp cold water and pulse until the mixture just coheres.
  3. Remove and roll into two logs about 5cm wide.
  4. Brush each with beaten egg and roll each in a different type of seed, till coated evenly.
  5. Wrap in clingfilm and either chill for 30 minutes or freeze for up to 1 month.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Using a sharp knife, cut each chilled or frozen log into 16 biscuits 5mm-thick, to make 32 in total. Place them on 2 large, non-stick or greased baking trays, slightly spaced. Bake for 10–14 minutes (depending on whether you’re cooking from chilled or frozen), until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Drinks recommendation

Here’s a dish where the aperitif theme could happily play on as you begin to eat. It being Christmas, a glass of champagne never goes amiss.

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling or freezing
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes to 14 minutes
  • Total time: 30 - 34 minutes, plus cooling 60 minutes 5 minutes

Makes: 32

Nutritional Info

Typical values per serving:

Energy 297.064kJ
Fat 6.0g
Saturated Fat 2.0g
Sugars 0.1g
Salt 0.3g

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4 stars

Average user rating Based on 18 ratings

This recipe was first published in December 2008.