Chargrilled octopus | "We ate this chargrilled octopus dish at the taverna on Karathona beach" says Lyndey Milan. "The menu declared that the octopus was out of season, thus frozen. However, since freezing actually tenderises the tentacles, I wasn’t concerned. This is a fantastic technique of pre-cooking the octopus first to make it really soft."
Risotto venere with bug tails | While similar to carnaroli or arborio, riso nero Venere (black Venus rice) takes a longer time to cook than other risotto rice varieties. This Guy Grossi dish teams the black rice with Moreton Bay bug tails and a rich parmesan zabaglione.
Sauerbraten with napkin dumplings and sautéed cabbage | Sauerbraten (sour roast) is said to be Germany’s national dish. It’s a long-marinated meat dish that uses some of the great flavours of German cooking – juniper berries, allspice and red wine. Detlef likes to use star anise and the redcurrant jelly, sour cream and sultanas are added for a slightly sweet finish. This recipe is very yummy and the bread dumplings are worth the work!
Afghan dumplings with beef sauce and garlic yoghurt (ashak) | Chana dal is a type of pulse, related to the chickpea. Chana dal has a very low glycaemic index so it makes a good addition to the diabetic diet. This recipe for ashak involves two hours of preparation, but you can lighten the workload by recruiting a few extra pairs of hands to help.
Mantu | Beautiful little dumplings that are perfect starters or great party food – they’re easy to make and fun for children too. Basil grew up with these in Pakistan and devised his recipe using the readily available wonton wrappers. They are served with yoghurt and parsley, although you can also add a dollop of dhal.
Beef cheek croustillant with celeriac remoulade and salsa verte | Beef cheeks are one of those in-vogue cuts of meat that you now see on restaurant menus. They need long, slow cooking to become meltingly tender – which is why Warren says that you put the cheeks in the oven then go to the pub for an hour or two! The braised cheeks form a soft, rich filling for elegant cigars of Tunisian brik pastry. This pastry is light and lacy, but sturdier than filo pastry, and adds a special crunchy…
Pasta with bharat-spiced chicken and vegetables | In North Africa, pasta dishes tend to be concentrated in Tunisia and eastern Algeria. Nawasar is a small, flat square pasta that is made with semolina and flour, similar to Italian quadrettini and Greek hilopites. The pasta is traditionally served with either lamb or chicken spiced with bharat. There are many complex versions of this spice blend throughout the Middle East, but in Tunisia it is generally a simple mixture of dried rosebuds and…
Minestrone with lardo | A good minestrone is one that has the feel of the season. In spring it may have peas and asparagus. In winter, cabbage and more beans. I like to add a paste of lardo and herbs, a cross between a gremolata and a pesto, to add depth and body to a good minestrone. Use our recipe below, or make up your own minestrone and just add the paste at the end.