Often, the humblest ingredients make the most comforting meals. Take the carlin pea, a nutty-tasting, British-grown black pulse that can be used just like a chickpea. Here I puree it with red peppers, charred garlic and chilli, as you would make a Mexican mole, and season it with cumin and ground sesame. Serve it with hot, crisp chorizo and sweet, charred corn for a magnificent, sustainable feast that will do everyone the world of good.
Blistered sweetcorn with red pepper and black pea mole and crisp chorizo
Remove the chilli seeds if you are feeding small children; otherwise, keep them in to add a touch of spice to the sweet, nutty puree.
Prep 15 min
Cook 30 min
1-2 red chillies
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp cumin seeds, freshly ground
4 tbsp lemon juice
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 sweetcorn cobs
75g roasted red peppers, from a jar or homemade
1 x 400g tin carlin peas, or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
180g cooking chorizo, finely sliced
1 large handful fresh coriander
Put a frying pan over a high-heat and dry-roast the chillies with one of the garlic cloves, skin on, for eight to 10 minutes, until blackened all over and the garlic is soft.
Heat a grill or barbecue. Peel another clove of garlic and, with a pestle and mortar, grind it to a paste with one teaspoon of the cumin and a few large pinches of sea salt. Stir in a tablespoon of the lemon juice and two of the olive oil. Slather this marinade all over the sweetcorn and grill it for 10-15 minutes, turning regularly, until blackened and blistered all over. Set aside.
Meanwhile, make the mole. Put the tahini and the remaining lemon juice in a food processor, and let the machine run for a full minute before adding the blackened chillies, de-stalked, and garlic, skin removed. Blend for another 30 seconds before adding the red peppers and one teaspoon of sea salt. Whizz for another minute, add the peas, whizz again for a minute more, then add two tablespoons of olive oil. With the motor running, add two to three tablespoons of cold water and the rest of the cumin. It should be thick but loose, so add a little more water if it feels stiff.
Slice the chorizo into thin discs and fry in the remaining tablespoon of oil until crisp. Meanwhile, warm the mole in a small pan and shave off kernels from the corn. Spread the puree on to four plates, spoon over the warm corn, scatter over the chorizo with its oil and top with lots of fresh coriander. Serve with a green salad and, if you like, some tortillas or bread.
And for the rest of the week
The mole is delicious with fish fingers, or stuffed into tacos with roast potatoes or grilled vegetables. Try scattering with feta or goat’s cheese instead of chorizo.