½ cup pistachios
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 eggplants
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
juice of ½ lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, mashed with a little salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano, marjoram or thyme leaves
1 cooked octopus
4 baby cucumbers, finely sliced
lemon juice
wedges of lemon

Grilled octopus is possibly my favourite way of eating the tentacles as they go crisp on the outside and have just the right amount of texture. I’ve given the octopus just a simple treatment here but it responds well to most marinades (try it with a mix of gochujang, soy sauce and sesame oil).

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2.Lightly roast the pistachios in a hot oven and set aside to cool.
3.In a dry pan, toast the cumin and sesame seeds until fragrant.
4.Cool and grind with the salt in a mortar and pestle or small bowl food processor.
5.Add the pistachios and grind to a coarse crumb.
6.Store in an airtight jar until ready to use.
8.Heat a barbecue (or heat the oven to 180°C).
9.Barbecue the eggplants whole until they collapse, approximately 30 minutes.
10.Allow to cool slightly and remove the skin.
11.Blitz in a food processor with the remaining ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
13.In a bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon zest, garlic and oregano.
14.Cut each tentacle from the body (if the tentacles are large you might want to cut in half) and make sure they are dry.
15.Mix half the marinade with the octopus (head and tentacles) reserving the rest in another bowl.
16.Ideally marinate for at least 30 minutes.
17.Heat a barbecue and chargrill the octopus until lightly charred on each side (1-2 minutes) then remove.
18.Thinly slice the head and combine this with the cucumber and the remaining marinade.
19.Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss with lemon juice to taste.
20.Spoon some eggplant purée on each plate, add a couple of tentacles and some of the cucumber mixture.
21.Scatter over the dukkah and add a wedge of lemon.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Jessica Hemmings

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