Bar Douro, London

This week, just a day after we returned from Istanbul, I travelled up to London to do some research and to source new ingredients. It turns out that Wednesday was the hottest June day on record since 1976 when, as a young girl, I lazed about all summer on the lawn reading Françoise Sagan novels…

Turkish Menemen

Menemen – a traditional Turkish dish made from eggs, cheese, tomato, green peppers, onions, herbs and spices – is one of the mainstays of the rich Turkish culinary repertoire that pretty much everyone interprets in their own way. Just this week, for example, I’ve been served an incredibly spicy version scattered with hot red chillies as well…

Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen, Bath

The days when vegetarians struggled to find something fabulous to eat in the UK have long gone and HURRAH to that! Today, imaginatively designed vegetarian and vegan dishes sit proudly alongside their meaty and fishy counterparts sharing equal ranking and enjoying just as much care and attention to detail. It’s official, you don’t have to…

Umbrian Asparagus with Balsamic and Caper Dressing

Umbria is often referred to as the ‘green heart of Italy’ on account of its verdant, rolling hills dotted with ancient hill towns such as Assisi, Perugia, Orvieto, Spoleto, Todi, Spello and Gubbio, all of them quietly embraced by ancient vineyards and olive groves. Here, Spring heralds the arrival of the wild asparagus season, a time…

500 Cortona Hand-stretched Pizza

A couple of summers ago, we drove to Tuscany for lunch. It was our first visit to this much-lauded region, beloved of the English; we prefer Umbria for its peacefulness, superb full-bodied wines, piquant, earthy olive oil, and its hill-top villages, ancient and fascinating. However, just an hour’s drive away from our base in Assisi is Cortona,…

Hyères Elderflower & Orange Blossom Cordial and a French 77 Cocktail

There aren’t many things as intoxicating as the scent of orange blossoms in the depths of winter. Their heady aroma always hits me right between the eyes, immediately transporting me back to a Mediterranean summer and those endless sunny days when I give myself permission to skip about without a care in the world. This isn’t just an emotional response,…

Cadouin Tarte Paysanne

Throughout our lifetimes, we occasionally stumble upon experiences that change the way that we think about food. It could be beachside shack serving up the freshest of grilled fish, or a market stall in an exotic bazaar that fills our eyes with wonder and awe; it could be fine dining by an open fire in…

Greek Slow-roasted Tomatoes

You’d be forgiven for thinking that this is a recipe for fresh tagliatelle with pesto, after all that’s pretty much what you see here. However, this is actually a recipe for roast tomatoes which I use like a condiment to add a deep sweetness to savoury dishes. It’s super easy to do and a great way…

Jewelled Pearl Barley with Mint & Orange Blossom Dressing

Every so often a new recipe book is published that gets everyone talking. Once such book is ‘On the Side‘, a book of inspiring dishes from Rocket & Squash, a food journal created by Ed Smith. When the book was published a couple of weeks ago, Instagram literally went mad – I mostly follow people in the food business…

Akko Amba Sauce

Amba sauce. What can I tell you about this spicy, fruity and sharp condiment made from sun ripe mangoes? When I think about it, I feel love because it’s such a beautiful thing. It always take centre stage on my Mediterranean table, especially if I’ve designed it around a variety of mezzes. Once tried, its never forgotten and all…

Lebanese Mint & Lemon Infused Labneh with Zhoug

Labneh is a beautiful soft cheese made from strained yoghurt that can be eaten with pretty much everything but is especially good alongside rich and spicy mezzes and falafel. The good news is that it’s dead easy to make. All you have to be mindful of is the quality of the yoghurt you use – I use…