Greg Malouf Kitchen Confidential

Chef at Petersham Nurseries, Australian Greg Malouf, chats about how July’s flavours make their way into his Middle Eastern dishes

Cooking With

July is a month I’m particularly looking forward to. It’s the time of year when chefs can really show off their ability to create lighter dishes, with grills, salads and clean sauces becoming much more the main focus.

All those beautiful stone fruits start coming in at this point in summer – and that means great desserts such as cherry and rose sorbet. As for the berries, I prefer to crush them with sugar and orange blossom or rose water to make a refreshing cordial. I find that a good general rule is that when it comes to yellow or orange fruits, orange blossom water matches best, while with red fruits rose is best; but whichever you use, you only need a dab. I use a lot of edible flowers in my cooking: we’ve just planted a huge flower garden for that exact purpose! Violet is probably my favourite at the moment, because of its intense perfume; I’ll often put it into salads with watercress, lemon, olive oil, white pepper and parmesan. It can be candied for desserts, or simply sprinkled over savoury dishes to add a punch of vibrant colour.

The fish here is different to what I’m used to, so I’m getting excited about experimenting, especially with wild salmon and monkfish. Mackerel is great in the later part of summer and, as I like it with a slightly smoked flavour, I’ll be putting it on the barbecue. It pairs well with harissa potato salad – made with shallots, capers and soft herbs such as tarragon, mint, dill or parsley.

Rabbit, which is one of my favourite meats, is also delicious barbecued. Rub it with garlic, sea salt, ginger, cinnamon, ground ginger, black pepper and olive oil before cooking. Serve with skordalia – a milk-soaked potato, garlic and lemon juice dip, but I substitute the potato with parsnip.

I’ve just started making my own cheese, and recently made a version of shankleesh, a Lebanese goats’ cheese with za’atar, sumac, and red chilli. It’ll be the perfect stuffing for my deep-fried courgette flowers.

Who i'm using

We order our fish from Sandy’s ( in Twickenham; they always text me so I know what’s freshest. Our meat is from HG Walter (, an organic, free-range butcher in London’s Baron’s Court.



Greg’s recipe for July

Use sour cherries to create an Aleppo-style sauce, to be served with lamb cutlets. Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and sauté 3 finely sliced shallots and 1 finely chopped garlic clove until soft. Add 8 sour cherries, soaked in a little water for 30 minutes (add the water too), and 200ml chicken stock. Cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes until the cherries break down, then remove the lid and raise the temperature. Bubble vigorously until left with a good thick sauce. Mix ½tsp each ground cumin and cinnamon with ¼tsp white pepper, then rub over 4 double lamb cutlets with some salt. Heat olive oil in a frying pan; cook the cutlets on each side – 2 minutes for medium rare. Remove and rest. Add cherry sauce to the same pan with 60ml thickened cream and juice of ½ lemon. Simmer gently then stir through roughly half a bunch finely shredded mint leaves. Pour over chops to serve.

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