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Appears in

Food of the Sun: A Fresh Look at Mediterranean Cooking

Food of the Sun

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1995

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It sounds like one of those futuristic robot heroes of Japanese animation announced in basso profundo voice-over: TAR-A-TOR! In fact, it is the walnut-and-garlic sauce which you will find dressing runner beans in the salad section.

The fresher the walnuts the better, so make your children shell some as a Christmas penance. If using packet walnuts, then open them exclusively for the sauce. After being left to sit and fester in the cupboard for a few weeks your tarator will scare more than the children. It makes an unusual pasta sauce, but is extraordinarily rich so you need only swabbing amounts to make the point. Check with your guests that they can eat walnuts; it is surprising how many people they upset.


  • 2 slices of white bread (plastic sliced is fine)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 170 g/6 oz shelled fresh walnuts
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 150 ml/¼ pt olive oil
  • salt and pepper



Trim the crusts off the bread. Tear the slices into pieces, moisten with the milk and put in the processor with the walnuts and juice from the lemon.

Peel, smash and chop the garlic and add. Season with salt and pepper.

Whizz to a paste and, while continuing to process, pour in the olive oil through the feeder tube until you have a smooth purée.

Eat the same day.

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