This one is for Josephine who commented on my last post, Apple Sorbet with Calvados & Caramelised Apple, that I was getting her too interested in desserts with all my recent ice cream recipes! So no dessert recipe today. But, of course, savoury dishes can be deliciously decadent too: a splash of cream here, a glug of wine there, a flaming tablespoonful of brandy. Food is rarely mundane for me; there’s always an element of ‘treat’, even if it’s the simplest pasta dish or some meat, as tonight, griddled. I blame it on my parents who ‘treated’ me as a child with weekly visits to Soho and gorgeous hunks of gorgonzola cheese from Camisa, croissants from Maison Bertaux and occasional lunches at Wheeler’s in Old Compton Street. We weren’t especially well off but spare money went on eating well.
I was in a bookshop the other day, browsing through the cookery book shelves. I saw a recipe for pistachio pesto in it and although I didn’t buy the book, the idea stuck in my head, as I love both pesto and pistachios. So I decided tonight to experiment with a pistachio sauce to go with some lamb steak, simply marinated with lemon juice, olive oil and some garlic.
First of all, I marinated the lamb steaks for an hour or so in a mix of olive oil and lemon juice (almost equal proportions; a little more oil), salt and pepper and a crushed clove of garlic. I also threw in a large pinch of some herbes de provence that I bought in France a couple of weeks ago (so still in their nice aromatic stage).
Then I made the pistachio sauce.
I pounded a 1/2 clove of garlic with some salt in my mortar and pestle to a paste. Then I added a handful of basil leaves (thinking pesto) and handful of mint leaves (on the basis that mint goes well with lamb). I pounded these down and then threw in a handful of pistachio nuts and then pounded these down till everything came together in a thick paste.
Then I slowly added some olive oil to loosen the paste; then a squeeze of lemon juice. I seasoned with some black pepper (not salt as I’d used that at the beginning), and tasted to check it was good. I left the mixture fairly thick but you can just loosen up with olive oil till you have the consistency you want.
I then griddled the marinated lamb steaks. Of course, you could barbecue them, but The Single Gourmet Traveller is never going to be convinced that the effort involved in barbecuing is worthwhile for one person! Anyway, I love my griddle and the taste I get from using it. I made a green salad, which included some slices of fennel. And I steamed some couscous and added in some chopped mint and squeeze of lemon.
It was a lovely, fragrant supper. Pistachios have a nice buttery flavour and go well with the lamb. I have some of the sauce left over so am already thinking how best to use it up tomorrow …