La Cecìna Toscana, a Fermented Chickpea Flour Pancake with Rosemary

In pre-Covid times, it always amazed me that having eaten breakfast in England we can be enjoying a late lunch in Italy looking up to the sun and taking in the aromas of the streets: jasmine blossoms and linden trees fighting for our olfactory attention against smokey Vespas, buttery patisserie, melting chocolate, over-ripe peaches, the…

Revithada, Greek Slow-roasted Chickpeas with Rosemary and Bay

Paros is calling me. It seems as if every magazine I open lands upon an image of the out-of-this-world beautiful Greek island sat within the glittering Aegean Sea, a radio presenter name checked it late last week and, this weekend, a postcard fell out of an old Greek cookery book upon which I had written…

Santorini Tomato Keftedes with Feta and Wild Oregano

At the beginning of my adult life, I spent a lot of time exploring the Greek Islands. I did pretty much all of them from Paxos and Corfu to the North to Santorini and Rhodes in the South. I was drawn to the azure sea, the oregano-covered mountains, the tiny beaches, the glamorously bearded Greek academics…

Jaffa Orange, Feta and Almond Filo Pie with Wild Oregano

The classic Jaffa orange – shamouti – was originally developed by Palestinian farmers in the mid-19th century and takes its name from the city of Jaffa – Yafo – where it was first produced for export. These are the oranges that I was given as the occasional treat when I was a child so the intoxicating aroma of…

Shuk Ha’Carmel Green Herb Falafel

“Wait. You’re telling me that you have never – NEVER! – eaten falafel?” he exclaimed, narrowly missing the turning onto Boulevard Rothchild as we made our way to dinner one impossibly hot and humid evening in downtown Tel Aviv. “No!” I replied, “I have never – NEVER! – eaten falafel!“. He looked at me with that…

Shuk Hummus with Zhoug and Chopped Pistachios

Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem was the first full blown Middle Eastern market I ever visited and, for me, it was an absolutely mind-blowing experience with over 250 vendors and stall holders inviting me to sample their beautiful chaos of fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, pastries and halva, cheeses, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices all piled…

Orecchiette with Pistachios, Hazelnuts, Parmesan and Mint

Sometimes I yearn for a pesto sauce that packs a bit more of a punch that the regular basil and pine nut version especially when the quality of shop bought basil can be patchy – who else has splashed out on a packet recently only to find that the leaves are all pretty much too…

Pera Garlicky Spinach with Yoghurt and Biber Salçası

After a bone-chilling day we literally fell through the doorway of Asmalı Cavit, a treasured wooden-fronted traditional meyhane in the centre of Pera in Istanbul. Here, the walls are lined with photographic portraits of people from a more glamorous age alongside vintage posters promoting wine, long forgotten theatre productions and the seaside resorts that were…