This was considered extremely sophisticated in the 1970s, but that’s no reason to ignore it. Easy, adaptable and delicious,

it takes little time to prepare.

Ingredients

400g chicken livers

100g butter

2tbs double cream

Handful green peppercorns

Salt and pepper

Pick over the livers and remove unsightly bits and any green edges. Put them in milk for 30 minutes to calm the flavour. Dry them, then fry them in half the butter until they are brown outside but pink inside about two minutes each side. Put them in a blender with salt, ground pepper, cream and the rest of the butter, and whizz to a smooth paste.

Put the paste into dishes and cover it with a layer of melted butter when cool, then leave it for a day before eating it with hot toast and gherkins. I followed Nigel Slater’s advice, and added a handful of green peppercorns, which gave the pâté an agreeable crunchy spiciness. It makes a good lunch dish, a starter for supper and a topping for crostini, with salami and roast tomatoes. Or a picnic, for that matter.