Our seasonal recipe for banana and olive parfait, pistachio cake and olive purée was contributed by Steve Drake of Drake's restaurant in Ripley, Surrey, while Xavier Rousset, co-owner of Texture and 28-50 in London recommends the best wines to accompany the dish.
For the pistachio cake
● 50g polenta
● 50g plain flour
● 5g baking powder
● 200g pistachio nuts
● 125g olive oil
● Zest and juice of one lemon
● 100g butter
● 3 eggs
● 200g caster sugar
● 6 or 7 ripe bananas (see assembly)
For the olive purée
● 150g Kalamata olives, drained and pitted
● Stock syrup (100ml water simmered for three minutes with 75g caster sugar)
For the banana and olive parfait
(Makes 10-12 portions)
● 100g sugar
● 50g dehydrated Kalamata olives
● Juice of one lemon
● 9 egg yolks
● 90g sugar
● 284g double cream
● 284g banana purée (see below)
Combine polenta, plain flour, baking powder and pistachios. Blitz in food processor. Warm the olive oil, lemon juice and zest together with the butter ensuring butter is completely melted. Whisk eggs together in a bowl and slowly add the caster sugar until trebled in volume. Fold olive oil, butter and lemon in to the eggs and sugar. Mix in dry ingredients thoroughly and leave to rest in the fridge for 12 hours. Line a 20 x 20cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper. Add mixture and cook at 160°C for 40 minutes. Remove cake from mould and slice.
To make the olive purée, rinse the olives well in cold water to remove excess salt. Stone and spread out in the bottom of a wide pan. Cover with an equal weight of stock syrup to olive. Bring to the boil and simmer for three minutes. Blitz in a liquidiser and then pass through a fine sieve.
To make the banana and olive parfait, boil the sugar with 2tbs of water and cook until a light golden caramel colour, add the olives and pour on to an oiled tray. Cool at room temperature and, when set, crush with a rolling pin to make an olive praline.
Take the ripe bananas (4-5) and peel, cut in half, then in quarters and remove the black seeds. Put in a jug with half the lemon juice, ensuring the bananas are coated with the lemon juice. Purée with the hand blender.
Whisk the yolks in a food processor using the whisk attachment. In a saucepan, heat the sugar until it melts and will form a soft ball. Slowly pour on to the yolks. Cool this sabayon mixture. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold the banana purée into the sabayon one-third at a time. Combine with the whipped cream one-third at a time and with the last part add the olive praline. Pour into triangle-shaped or pointed moulds and use a cocktail stick to ensure a nice point at the top of the mould. Freeze.
To serve, place a slice of the banana cake on a plate, then top with a thin layer of banana slices, overlapping each piece by half. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and caramelise with a blowtorch. Reheat in oven at 180°C for three minutes.
Place in the middle of the plate, with a small spoonful of the sweet olive purée and the banana parfait to one side.
To combine with this intense dish, which is packed with flavours, I would opt for a sparkling sweet wine. The fizziness is ideal to refresh your palate at the end of a meal, furthermore it is great to lighten up the dish.
Muscat is my grape of choice for this food and wine matching as it is exuberant, flowery and very summery, as long as you choose the right one (ie, fairly light, to not overpower the dish).
Moscato d'Asti from Piemonte in Italy is a classic with gentle bubble and wonderful perfume and easy to acquire.
If you want to source something a bit different, try a Clairette de Die from the Northern Rhone in France made mainly from Muscat à Petits Grains (75% minimum), the other grape being Clairette.
Xavier Rousset is co-owner of Texture and 28-50, in London