Chef, Restaurateur, Cookbook Author, Godfather of Fusion Cuisine
Peter Gordon was born in Whanganui, New Zealand, and collated his first cookbook aged just four. At 18 he moved to Melbourne where he lived for five years, training and working as a chef in various restaurants. Eventually his spirit of adventure and culinary curiosity led him to travel through Asia for a year, from Indonesia to India. This life-changing experience was to become a major influence on his culinary style, and he went on to earn an international reputation as the ‘godfather’ of fusion cuisine.
Peter has written eight cook books, the most recent — SAVOUR: Salads for all Seasons (Jacqui Small, £25) — was released in early 2016 and includes dishes that can be enjoyed all year round as a main meal, part of a sharing plate or as a side dish, with every recipe combines ingredients that work harmoniously together.
Peter lives in Hackney, London, and has restaurants in both Auckland and London.
More from Peter Gordon
Chickpeas, grilled broccoli and asparagus with popped chilli grapes and bagel croutons
- 175 g (6oz./. cup + 2 tbsp) dried chickpeas
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 bay leaf (or use a few fresh thyme, oregano or rosemary sprigs)
- 85 ml (1/3 cup) Greek-style plain yogurt
- 2 bagels, slightly stale (or use 3 slices of bread, cut into 2cm/¾ in. squares)
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 200 g (7oz./2 cups) black and green grapes
- 1/2 medium-heat red chilli, finely chopped, including the seeds (more or less to taste)
- 3 tbsp verjus (or use 2 tbsp cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar plus 1 tbsp water)
- 250 g (9oz.) broccoli (about 1 head)
- 600 g (1lb. 5oz.) asparagus (about 300g/10½ oz. Trimmed weight, see directions)
- 1 small handful watercress, mâche (corn salad) or rocket (arugula) leaves
- 20 mint leaves, torn
- Cook the chickpeas, which you’ll need to begin the day before. Put them into a large bowl with the baking soda and cover with 1 litre (4¼ cups) of cold water. Cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave for 12 hours to rehydrate.
- Drain and rinse well under cold water. Place in a medium pan and pour over 1 litre (4¼ cups) of water, then slowly bring to the boil and skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to a gentle boil, skim off any more foam, then add the bay leaf and cook for 30–45 minutes, depending on the size of the chickpeas. Make sure that they remain covered by at least 1cm (½ in.) of water. To test if they’re cooked, try one after 30 minutes. Drain into a colander and briefly rinse under cold water. Drain again, then place in a bowl with the yogurt. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and some freshly milled black pepper and mix it all together.
- For the croutons, preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F/Gas mark 3). Cut the bagels into slices 5mm (¼ in.) thick, toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and lay on a baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, turning the slices over after 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
- To pop the grapes, put them in a medium pan with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and place over a medium heat. Cook until they begin to blister, stirring them gently as they heat up. Once most have popped their skins a little, add the chilli and verjus and 2 pinches of salt. Bring to the boil, then put a lid on the pan, turn off the heat and leave to cool down.
- Cut the broccoli into florets, keeping as much stalk intact as possible. Blanch for no more than a minute in lightly salted boiling water. Drain, refresh in iced water and drain again. Place in a bowl.
- To prepare the asparagus, snap the stalk ends off where they naturally break – this will be where the fibrous and woody part starts. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the lower 5cm (2in.) of peel. Mix the asparagus with the blanched broccoli and toss with 2 teaspoons of the oil.
- Place a heavy-based frying pan (skillet) over a high heat and cook the asparagus and broccoli until coloured, turning them as they cook, then remove to a plate to cool. Slice the asparagus spears in half on an angle.
- To serve, place the salad leaves on your plates and lay the broccoli and asparagus on top. Stir the mint into the chickpeas, then spoon these on. Scatter with the croutons and spoon on the grapes and their juices.
I used broccoli and asparagus in this dish because they were in season when we shot the photograph, but you can also use sweetcorn, pumpkin, carrots, aubergine (eggplant) or other vegetables instead. The bagel croutons add a lovely chewiness and crunch to the salad, so if you’re gluten intolerant, use gluten-free bread rather than leave them out. This salad can be served as a first course, or as part of a meal.
Photo credit: Lisa Linder