Recipe Category: Issue 198

Recipe

PISTACHIO PESTO

This delicately green pesto is easy to make and cheaper on the pocket than using pine nuts. I change the herbs to use what is available: in winter I make a version with parsley and at this time of the year it’s usually mint or basil that is thrown in. The pesto will keep covered with a little oil, but it does darken and discolour somewhat, especially if you are using mint. It can also be frozen in small amounts, just omit the cheese if doing this and add it once defrosted. Click here to link to the Orecchiette with pistachio pesto recipe

Recipe

EGGPLANT, LEMON & BAY LEAF SOUVLAKI WITH HERB PILAF & TZATZIKI

Tender garlicky eggplant cooked alongside lemon and bay leaf makes for a lovely plant-based alternative to the more usual fish or chicken. I like to colour them in a pan before finishing off in the oven to ensure the eggplant is meltingly soft. Leave the bay leaves out if you can’t source fresh ones as dried won’t be the same here. If you’re a fried-cheese fan, you could add cubes of haloumi along with the eggplant.

Recipe

OCTOPUS WITH GRAPEFRUIT & CITRUS MAYO

If the octopus tentacles are spindly and thin, they won’t need a 24-hour brine – cut this back by 4 to 5 hours. Once cooked, the flesh should be tender but not mushy; the best way to check is to try a piece once it’s been steamed, as everyone likes octopus cooked a little differently, so find what is good for you. The mayo recipe makes more than is required, but it’s much easier to do a larger amount and the mayo is great combined with a little crème fraîche for a potato salad. A good amount of hot sauce is needed to lift the zestiness, and probably more salt than you think – trust your palate.