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Pistachio, cardamom & olive oil cake

Recipe: One: A Cook and her Cupboard by Florence Knight (Salt Yard). Image: Yuki Sugiura/Guardian

Serves 8


  • 200g shelled pistachios

  • 8 cardamom pods

  • 100g polenta

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 50g butter

  • 175ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 medium eggs, at room temperature

  • 200g caster sugar

  • 1 unwaxed lemon

Moist, fragrant and very green, this cake is perfect with a dollop of loosely whipped cream and maybe a sprinkle of icing sugar.


Preheat the oven to 170C/340F/gas mark 3-4.


Grease and line a 23cm round baking tin. Place the pistachios on a dry baking tray and toast in the oven for 3 minutes until they have a greasy shine and a nutty aroma. Remove and set aside to cool.


Bash the cardamom pods using a pestle and mortar, discard the husks, and grind the seeds to a fine powder.


Tip the pistachios and cardamom powder into a food processor and pulse until they're finely ground. Pour the pistachios into a large bowl with the polenta and bicarbonate of soda and mix until evenly combined.


Place the butter and olive oil into a small pan on a low heat until the butter has melted but not boiled. Leave to cool slightly.


In a second large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until light, fluffy and thick enough to slowly fall off the whisk in a ribbonon the surface of the mixture. Very slowly trickle in the butter and oil, slowly whisking it into the eggs until fully incorporated, then gently fold through the nut and polenta mixture. Zest the lemon, then halve and add the juice and zest to the mix. Stir to combine.


Pour into the greased tin and bake for 45-50 minutes. Check that a skewer comes out clean and the surface springs back a little when you press in the centre. The cake will have risen with a golden top, but don't be upset if the middle has collapsed slightly or even cracked.


Rest in the tin until cool, and serve in thick slices with a dollop of cream. This cake is so moist that it actually improves the flavour to keep for a day or two. However, its vibrant green colour will start to fade.

Olive Oil Biscotti

Recipe: Francesco Mazzei, L'Anima restaurant. Image: Yuki Sugiura/Guardian

Makes 50-60


  • 230ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 170g caster sugar

  • 130g demerara sugar

  • 1 vanilla pod

  • 1 lemon zest

  • 2 eggs1 tbsp milk

  • 330g plain flour, sifted

  • A pinch of salt1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Mix together the olive oil, sugars, vanilla and lemon zest. Add the eggs and milk, and mix well, then add the sifted flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda, and let the dough rest for 24 hours.


Preheat the oven to 170C/340F/gas mark 3-4.


Roll the dough into small balls, flatten slightly then bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.

Spaghetti with olive oil, chilli & garlic

The Art of Pasta by Lucio Galletto and David Dale (Grub Street)

Serves 4


  • 400g spaghetti

  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped

  • A large handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  • Salt

Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente.


Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a low heat, and fry the garlic for 1-2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to spread the flavour through the oil. Add 2 tbsp cooking water to the pan and stir in the chilli and parsley. Season with salt and cook for 3 minutes, mixing occasionally.


When the spaghetti is ready, drain it quickly so it is still rather wet and add it to the sauce. Gently toss to coat, then leave for a minute over a low heat before serving on hot plates.

Shaved Brussel Sprouts with Olive Oil, Lemon & Pecorino

The Perfectly Tossed Salad by Mindy Fox (Kyle Books)

Serves 4-6


  • 450g brussels sprouts

  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 3½ tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • ½-1 tsp whole black peppercorns, crushed

  • 115g pecorino cheese, grated or shaved

A recipe that is enough to convert even the most ardent sprouts–averse folk.


Rinse the sprouts, then pat dry with kitchen roll. Remove any discoloured outer leaves, then cut the sprouts in half, lengthways. Very thinly slice them the sprouts crossways, transferring to a large, shallow serving bowl as you go.


Drizzle the oil over the sprouts, sprinkle with salt and toss well. Add the lemon juice and pepper and toss again. Lay the cheese on the top of the salad and serve immediately.

Garlic & Chilli Prawn Pasta

Recipe & Image:

  • 375g pkt Fresh Lasagne Sheets
  • 60g butter
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 400g Raw Peeled Prawns Tail On
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves


Tear each pasta sheet roughly into quarters. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 3-4 mins or until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.


Meanwhile, heat the butter and oil in a deep frying pan over high heat. Cook the garlic and chilli for 1 min or until aromatic. Add the prawns and cook for 3-4 mins or until the prawns change colour.


Add the pasta and parsley to the pan and toss to combine, adding enough of the reserved cooking liquid to coat. Divide among plates.

Olive oil, rosemary and salt flat bread

Recipe & Image:

  • 1 1/2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon (1/2 sachet) dried instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes


Artichoke dip

  • 400g can artichokes in brine, rinsed, drained
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Pine Nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil


Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add the water and 1 tablespoon of the oil and stir until combined. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Use floured hands to knead lightly until dough is smooth and doesn’t stick anymore. Place the dough in a clean, greased large bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside for 1 hour or until doubled in size.


Meanwhile, to make the artichoke dip, squeeze artichokes to remove excess liquid. Process artichokes, parmesan, parsley and pine nuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, gradually add the oil until combined.


Preheat oven to 235C (215C fan-forced). Grease a large oven tray. Punch down dough. Use oiled hands to spread dough over prepared tray to a 32cm x 28cm rectangle. Brush with remaining oil and sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt flakes. Bake for 15 mins or until golden and base is crisp. Serve immediately with artichoke dip.

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© 2015 by CRUNCH 

© 2015 by CRUNCH 

© 2015 by CRUNCH 

© 2015 by CRUNCH 

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