Sabrina Ghayour‘s ‘Feasts’: three recipes from her new cookbook

Following on from her bestseller cookbooks, ‘Sirocco’ and ‘Persiana’, Sabrina Ghayour’s got more in store with her new book ‘Feasts’

Sabrina Ghayour
Friday 08 September 2017 09:57 BST
Crowned jewels: pistachios, pomegranate and nigella seeds with burnt oranges, topped with burrata cheese
Crowned jewels: pistachios, pomegranate and nigella seeds with burnt oranges, topped with burrata cheese (Kris Kirkham)

Burrata cheese and burnt oranges, with pistachios, mint and pomegranate

Serves 2-4

1 orange or blood orange
Extra virgin olive oil
200g-ball of burrata
60g pomegranate seeds
25g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
2 pinches of nigella seeds
½ tsp of sumac
Handful of mint leaves, torn
Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

To segment the orange, use a small, sharp knife to cut away the top and bottom of the fruit. Rest the orange on the cut surface, then slice away strips of peel and pith to expose the flesh all around the orange. When peeled, slice out segments of orange and discard the leftover skin.

You can use 1 of 2 methods to burn the orange segments: either using a cook’s blowtorch – blacken the slices on both sides or, alternatively, heat a frying pan on the highest heat available until hot, brush a little oil onto the orange segments on both sides and place them in the pan. Leave them to cook for 1 minute on each side, or until starting to blacken.

Place the ball of burrata in the centre of a serving plate and either leave it whole or, if you’re like me, pull it apart into rough quarters (roughly scoring the top makes this easier to do).

Arrange the burnt orange segments on the plate and scatter over the pomegranate seeds, pistachios, nigella seeds and sumac. Drizzle generously with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, scatter over the torn mint leaves and serve.

Oh God – just look at it, what a combination (Kris Kirkham) (Kirk Kirkham)

Pomegranate and aubergine salad with harissa and sundried tomatoes

Serves 6-8

250-300ml vegetable oil
2-3 large or 5 small aubergines, cut into 5cm chunks
2 tbsp olive oil
150ml pomegranate molasses
1 heaped tablespoon rose harissa
2-3 tbsp clear honey, plus extra to taste
2 heaped tbsp tomato purée 
2 slices of day-old sourdough bread (if using fresh, briefly toast and leave to dry for 1 hour), cut into cubes
150g sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and cut widthwise into strips
1 small bunch (about 30g) of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
200g pomegranate seeds
100g pistachio nuts
Maldon sea salt flakes

Pour the vegetable oil into a large, deep saucepan and heat over a medium-high heat. Line a plate with a double layer of kitchen paper. Add the aubergines to the hot oil in the pan and fry for 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning, until fully cooked and deeply golden brown on all sides.

Remember that aubergines need plenty of oil to cook properly, so add more oil if the pan becomes dry. Using a metal slotted spoon, transfer the cooked aubergine pieces to the paper-lined plate. Place another 2 sheets of kitchen paper on top and press the aubergine pieces gently with the paper to extract all excess oil. Leave to cool.

Put the olive oil into a large mixing bowl with the pomegranate molasses, harissa, honey and tomato purée and mix well. Add the stale bread cubes and coat them well with the mixture. Add the cooled aubergines, sundried tomatoes, parsley, pomegranate seeds and pistachios and season well with salt. Mix thoroughly.

At this point, you can add more honey to balance out the sour notes to your taste. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave the salad to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. This can also be made the day before and refrigerated overnight. Stir well before serving.

Tip: Don’t be afraid about using this amount of oil to cook the aubergines – the excess oil can be squeezed out after cooking.

To serve this as bruschetta, simply omit the bread from the recipe and serve on slices of toasted sourdough.

 Outdo the local kebab shop (Kris Kirkham)
 (Kirk Kirkham)

Ultimate chicken shawarmas

Serves 2-8

600g boneless, skinless chicken thigh fillets
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp  ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 fat garlic cloves, crushed finely grated
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
Olive oil
Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

6-8 round flatbreads of your choosing (or use pittas)
200g Greek yoghurt
4 large tomatoes, sliced, then each slice cut in half
1 large red onion, halved and finely sliced into half-moons
1 small bunch (about 30g) of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Gherkins or cucumbers in brine (as many as you like), finely sliced

Place the chicken thigh fillets in a bowl. Add the spices, garlic, lemon zest and juice, yoghurt, a good drizzle of olive oil (about 2 tbsp) and a generous amount of salt and black pepper. Using your hands, work the marinade into the chicken, ensuring it is mixed evenly and coats every exposed part of all the fillets. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.

Drizzle a little olive oil into a large frying pan set over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken – reduce the heat if the thighs begin to cook too quickly. Fry gently for 10-12 minutes on each side, or until the thighs have a nice, deep golden brown crust and are cooked through. When done, remove and cut the thighs widthwise very thinly.

To serve, lay a flatbread on your work surface. Spread Greek yoghurt across the surface. Place a line of tomato half-moons down the middle. Stack some shredded chicken over this, then follow with the onion, coriander and a few slices of pickled cucumbers. Fold up the bottom of the flatbread, then fold over the sides to enclose the filling as tightly as possible. Repeat with the remaining flatbreads and filling. To make eating the shawarmas a little easier, wrap the base with some doubled-up baking paper or a square of kitchen foil, to hold the juices in.

‘Feasts’ by Sabrina Ghayour, published by Mitchell Beazley, is out now priced £20. Photography by Kris Kirkham. Visit

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