lunch or dinner · serves 4 · V
300 g (10½ oz) podded broad (fava) beans
1 day-old ciabatta, coarsely torn
1 Lebanese (short) cucumber, seeded and diced
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
handful basil leaves, torn
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) extra virgin olive oil,
plus extra to serve
50 g (1¾ oz) rocket (arugula)
50 g (1¾ oz) pecorino cheese, shaved
Cook the broad beans in unsalted water for 4 minutes or until tender. Drain and double-pod them.
Moisten the ciabatta chunks with a little water until slightly soggy. Squeeze out any excess water, tear into smaller pieces and put them into a bowl. Add the cucumber, onion, celery, broad beans and basil to the bowl. Drizzle over the vinegar and olive oil and toss. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place the panzanella in the fridge for 2 hours to allow the flavours to develop. Season with a extra salt and pepper.
Divide the salad between four plates, top with the rocket and the pecorino and drizzle with a little extra olive oil.
lunch or dinner · serves 4 · V
150 g (5½ oz) large dried pasta shells
4 stalks celery with leaves, sliced
½ cos (romaine) lettuce, sliced into 2 cm (¾ inch) strips
100 g (3½ oz) tatsoi, leaves separated, or baby
English spinach leaves
150 g (5½ oz) roquefort cheese
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cook the pasta following the packet directions until al dente. Drain, rinse under cold running water, then drain well.
To make the dressing, blend 100 g (3½ oz) roquefort cheese with the vinegar and olive oil until creamy using a hand-held blender. Add 1 tablespoon water and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Put the pasta into a bowl and add the celery and celery leaves, lettuce and tatsoi. Pour over the dressing and toss everything together to coat.
Divide the salad between four plates and crumble over the remaining cheese. Serve with an extra grind of pepper.
starter · serves 4–6
1 octopus (about 1 kg/2 lb 4 oz), fresh or frozen
1 garlic bulb, halved crossways
handful thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon salt
100 g (3½ oz) black olives, pitted
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf (Italian)
20 basil leaves
juice of 1 lemon
150 ml (5 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
If using frozen, allow the octopus to thaw thoroughly in the fridge before use. Put the octopus flat on a chopping board. Cut off the head and the tentacles and discard the middle bit containing the eyes. Turn the tentacles over and press on the middle bit, where the tentacles come together, to push out the hard beak. Discard the beak. Turn the head inside out and pull out the tough inner bits. Discard them too. Rinse the head and tentacles under cold running water to get rid of any ink and grit.
Put the octopus parts in a large saucepan of water and add the garlic bulb, thyme and salt. Bring to the boil and poach for 1½ hours over low heat.
Drain the octopus and leave to cool. Discard the garlic and thyme. Wipe away any loose bits with some paper towel.
Cut the tentacles into 2 cm (¾ inch) chunks and slice the head evenly.
Put the octopus into a serving bowl and mix in the olives, chopped garlic, onion, parsley, basil leaves, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. It will taste even better when you leave the flavours to develop overnight.